Sun Devils Draw Temple in 1st Round of NCAA's

The ASU players and coaches had to hear the names of 63 teams being called, before theirs was officially announced as one of squads participating in the NCAA tournament. The Sun Devils, seeded sixth in the South region, will travel cross country to Miami, Fla. to meet the 11 seed Temple Owls on Friday March 20th. Head coach Herb Sendek and his players were naturally elated by this news.

"We're very excited to be in the field," Sendek said. "I know we play an outstanding Temple team, a team that is playing terrific basketball right now wining the Atlantic 10 championship.

"I've known Coach (Temple head coach Fran) Dunphy for a long time and have tremendous respect for him. He had great success at Penn and he has certainly carried on the Temple tradition which goes a long way back in basketball."

The Owls (22-1) captured their second straight Atlantic 10 Championship beating Duquesne 69-64. They ended the 2008-09 campaign with six consecutive victories. Their notable non-conference wins came against conference foe Xavier, Tennessee, and on the road versus Penn State.

After playing three consecutive days in the Pac-10 tournament, with a short bench, Sendek obviously welcomes the extra day off, especially in light of the cross country road trip that lies ahead.

"We have a couple guys right now that are bumped and bruised," Sendek noted concerning the Friday schedule, "So I think it is a very good thing for us. It is very welcomed."

The ASU head coach said that he was anxious during the tournament selection show even though his team was assured a spot in the field of 65, a situation that was naturally much different than last season when the Sun Devils were one of the teams to just have missed the cut for the big dance.

"Last year we were hoping to get in," Sendek recalled. "This year we pretty much knew we were in, but still on edge until you know who you're paying and seeing your name up there. It's an anxious time, but also an exciting time."

Tip-off time for the Sun Devils-Owls contest will be announced on Monday.

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