Thursday, March 17, 2011

VIDEO: Juan Fernandez beats Penn State at the buzzer

Streak broken.

17 years to the day since Fran Dunphy's last NCAA Tournament win, when 11th seeded Penn Quakers knocked off No. 6 Nebraska in the first round in 1994, the Temple Owls advanced past Penn State with a 66-64 win.

After trading baskets for what seemed like the last 10 minutes of the game, Temple opened up a 64-61 lead on Penn State in the final minute, but the Owls lost Talor Battle on a screen and the Nittany Lions' star buried a 26 foot three to tie the game.

Coming out of the timeout, Dunphy isolated Fernandez, who was forced to pick up his dribble. The rest is, as they say, history:

Juan Fernandez and Ramone Moore both finished with 23 points while Lavoy Allen added 12 boards and four blocks as the Owls snapped a streak of three straight years of first round tournament losses.

Dunphy is one of the most respected coaches in the profession. His Penn teams were a regional power, and the Temple program has had a permanent spot at the top of the Atlantic 10 under Dunphy's watch. But for all of Dunphy's regular season success, he's never done much in the NCAA Tournament, with a career record of 1-12. Granted, nine of those tournaments came while Dunphy was at Penn, and the Ivy League doesn't have a great tradition of postseason success.

Regardless, its good to see Dunphy snap that streak. He's a great coach, and he deserves this win.

The Owls will advance to face the winner of San Diego State and Northern Colorado.

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