Temple may be one of the best defensive teams in the country. They may have some of the best overall talent in the country. They may have been ranked 17th, and they may have gotten a No. 5 seed in this tournament.
But none of that mattered today.
With both teams heading down south to Jacksonville, Florida, both of them were probably feeling pretty sour about their tournament seeding.
Cornell had one of the best teams in conference history and was even ranked 22nd in the country at one point this season. They were given the No. 12 seed.
Temple, on the other hand, was the conference champion for the A-10, a conference that had five teams on the bubble heading into Selection Sunday. They played consistently all year, beating nearly every team in their conference and also taking out Villanova and Seton Hall.
Cornell won the game by lighting up the nets from behind the arc, going 9-of-23. They also hit 15 of their 19 free throws. They out-rebounded the Owls 25-19 and, most importantly, outscored them 78-65. The game was never that close. Temple closed the gap to as small as six in the second half, but Cornell brought that back up to 18.
Cornell will advance to face the winner of Wisconsin and Wofford. Wisconsin is the No. 4 seed, while Wofford is the underdog at No. 13. Whoever wins, Cornell has to feel good about their chances. Both of those teams are more beatable than Temple.
The Badgers are coming off a first-round conference tournament loss to Illinois and also have a strong defense, just like Temple. This should be a similar type of matchup that obviously will give Cornell the advantage if they hit their threes, which shouldn't be too hard seeing as they lead the nation in that category.
The winner of the Cornell vs. Wisconsin/Wofford game will advance to the Sweet 16 in Syracuse, a city just outside of Cornell's home in Ithaca.