The top-seeded Indiana Hoosiers survived a scare from No. 9 Temple and overcame a near-unstoppable performance by Khalif Wyatt on Sunday afternoon, advancing to the Sweet 16 of the 2013 NCAA tournament with a 58-52 win.
Temple led for most of the second half, but Victor Oladipo drilled a three-pointer in the waning seconds to seal a win for Tom Crean's squad, setting up a matchup with Jim Boeheim and Syracuse in Washington D.C.
The first half was The Wyatt Show.
Despite being guarded by Oladipo—a top perimeter defender—Wyatt poured in 20 of Temple's 29 points on 8-of-14 shooting, looking unstoppable in the process.
Oladipo, Christian Watford and Cody Zeller chipped in six points each, but the Hoosiers looked uncomfortable and tentative to end the half, and trailed 29-26 heading into the locker room.
The break did the Hoosiers some good, as Wyatt came out cold, but Temple's tough, physical defense kept Indiana's high-powered attack in check long enough for the star guard to catch fire once again.
Every time Indiana climbed within one or tied the game, Wyatt seemingly responded with a crucial bucket. The nation's most crafty scorer finished with 31 points on 12-of-24 shooting.
But after Oladipo scored four straight points (a free throw and a three) in the final minute, Wyatt's magic finally ran out and he was unable to give the Owls a last-second miracle.
In addition to the game-clinching shots, Oladipo finished with 16 points and eight rebounds, while Zeller chipped in 15 and Will Sheehey added 10 off the bench.
Early on, ESPN's Myron Medcalf noticed Indiana's simple but effective game plan:
That "Give it to Cody Zeller" play will work every time for Indiana.— Myron Medcalf (@MedcalfByESPN) March 24, 2013
Of course, Temple had a pretty good weapon of its own (via College Basketball Talk's Daniel Martin):
Khalif Wyatt is getting whatever. he. wants. against an elite defender. It's gotta be him if Temple is going to win this.— Daniel Martin (@DanielJMartin_) March 24, 2013
FOX Sports' Evan Daniels pointed out that the Owls weren't exactly taking a page out of Wichita State's playbook in their bid for an upset:
2 for 19 from 3 and Temple is winning? That's crazy.— Evan Daniels (@EvanDanielsFOX) March 24, 2013
Grantland's Shane Ryan, meanwhile, delivered an important message to Tom Crean, the brother-in-law of two Super Bowl head coaches:
"TOMMMMY BOY, LOSE THIS GAME AND YOU'RE GETTING SOME SERIOUS NOOGIES!" -John and Jim Harbaugh— Shane Ryan (@ShaneRyanHere) March 24, 2013
CBS Sports' Jeff Borzello sums up the most recent case for Oladipo's Player of the Year campaign:
Victor Oladipo, man. No field goals for Wyatt in final 6:30, and scores four straightpoints in final 80 seconds.— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) March 24, 2013
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