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NCAA First Four Game Notes: Temple plays upset-minded Belmont

GAME NOTES WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF TEMPLE ATHLETICS COMMUNICATIONS

 

 

 

DAYTON, Ohio – The second of 67 games in the 2019 NCAA Tournament will feature 11th-seeded Temple men’s basketball facing 11th-seeded Belmont in the NCAA First Four on Tuesday, March 19 at 9:10 p.m.

NCAA Tournament History
> This is the 33rd NCAA Tournament appearance for the Owls, who own a 33-32 record in tourney play.
> Temple has been an 11 seed four times before in the NCAA Tournament, including when the Owls made a run to the Elite Eight in 2001.
> Temple’s first appearance in the NCAA Tournament was in 1944, and the Owls have had 16 players make NCAA All-Tournament Teams.
> The Owls are placed in the East Region for a 19th time. Temple’s last East Region appearance was in 2013 when the Cherry and White went 1-1 in Dayton in the First and Second Round.
> Temple is 2-5 this season against the other 67 teams in the 2019 NCAA Tournament field.
> Temple has advanced to the Elite Eight seven times (last, 2001) and the Final Four twice (1956, 1958).
Fran Dunphy has taken his team to the NCAA Tournament 17 times in 30 seasons as a head coach (8 w/ Temple, 9 w/ Penn).
> Dunphy’s 17 appearances in the NCAA Tournament are the 12th-most of all active Division I coaches.

Scouting Belmont
> Belmont comes into the tournament with an overall record of 26-5, and the Bruins had won 14 straight prior to losing to Murray State in the Ohio Valley Conference Championship game on March 9.
> Dylan Windler leads Belmont with 21.4 points per game, and his 10.7 rebounds per game lead the team and rank 10th among all players in NCAA Division I.
> Grayson Murphy is averaging 6.6 assists per game to rank 11th in the nation.
> The Bruins average 87.4 points per game to rank second in the nation, with their 19.9 assists per game ranking first.
> The Bruins rank top 25 nationally in 12 statistical categories, including first in assists per game and total assists, second in scoring offense and assist to turnover ratio, fifth in field goal percentage, and sixth in offensive efficiency and defensive rebounding.
> Rick Byrd has been the head coach at Belmont for 33 years and has 712 career wins (ranks 12th all-time in Division I career victories with 804).
>  This NCAA Tournament appearance will be his eighth with the Bruins. Belmont last earned an NCAA Tournament berth in 2014-15 and lost to #6 Virginia, 79-67.

Series History vs. Belmont
> Temple and Belmont are facing each other for the first time in program history.

Scouting Temple
> Temple had three players recognized with American Athletic Conference postseason awards. Senior guard Shizz Alston, Jr. was named to the AAC First Team, junior guard Quinton Rose was named to the AAC Second Team, and sophomore guard Nate Pierre-Louis was named Most Improved along with Josh Carlton from UConn.
> Alston, who leads all players in the AAC with 19.7 points per game, has scored 20 or more points in each of the last eight games. He exploded for a career-high 34 points on 12-of-14 shooting to lead the Owls to a 78-71 win at UConn on March 7. In addition to his AAC First Team honor, Alston was named to the USBWA All-District II Team.
> Alston has hit at least one three-pointer in 43 straight games to set a new Temple record, surpassing the 39-game streak by Dionte Christmas (2006-08).
> The Owls have won six of their last eight games and had won three straight heading into the AAC Championships before being upset by Wichita State, 80-74 in the quarterfinals. Temple got a 67-62 Senior Day win over #25 UCF on March 9, earning its second win over a Top 25 team this season.
> The Owls beat Tulsa, 84-73 on Feb. 23, for their 20th win of the season. Dunphy has now guided the Owls to 20 or more wins in nine of his 13 seasons.
> Temple finished 13-2 at home this season, giving Dunphy his ninth 10-win season at the Liacouras Center.
> The Owls defeated then-#17/15 Houston at home on Jan. 9, making it 12 seasons in a row that Temple has defeated a Top 25 program. Temple was the only team to defeat the Cougars through their first 28 games until UCF became the second team to do so on March 2. The Owls got another Top 25 win when they beat #25 UCF on March 9.
> Rose and Pierre-Louis average 16.5 and 13.3 points per game, respectively, to rank second and third on the team. Rose has tallied eight 20-point performances while Pierre-Louis has four.
> Temple ranks 16th in the nation with 8.7 steals per game. The Owls have posted double-digit steals in 13 games.