No Worries

Fran Dunphy was worried. So much so that he and his team watched the NCAA Selection Show in their practice facility and not with the crowd of Temple supporters for the first time. He didn't need to stress. The Owls are in as a No. 9 seed, playing N.C. State on Friday. Listen to a one-on-one interview with Dunphy as well as comments from players after the announcement.

Fran Dunphy was worried. So much so that he and his team watched the NCAA Selection Show in their practice facility and not with the crowd of Temple supporters in the Liacouras Center for the first time.

He didn't need to stress. The Owls are in as a No. 9 seed, playing N.C. State on Friday in Dayton, Ohio - the sixth straight year they will be going dancing.

"Coach Dunph really did a good job making it real suspenseful for us," said senior Khalif Wyatt. "The first thing he said (after Friday's Atlantic 10 quarterfinal loss to UMass) was 'We're in a real place of uncertainty, we don't know if it's CBI or NIT.' He put that in our head, our minds were everywhere but we knew had a good chance to have our name called. He just doesn't want us to take this for granted and appreciate the opportunity we have."

Temple was upset by UMass in last year's A-10 quarterfinal and followed it up with a dreadful performance in the first round of the NCAA Tournament against South Florida.

Senior forward Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson agreed Dunphy's cautious stance was to drill in that Friday's performance was unacceptable.

"He wanted to give us a sense of urgency, how much we need to do and that we have to play better," said Hollis-Jefferson.

The No. 9 seed might have been a little bit of a surprise especially after the early A-10 exit, though the Owls got no gift with a matchup against the Wolfpack, who have beaten Duke and North Carolina - not to mention Massachusetts and St. Bonaventure, two teams that knocked off the Owls.

Indiana is the No. 1 team in the East and would be the Owls' likely opponent if they advanced.

"The elephant in the room is you win and play Indiana," said Wyatt. "But if you don't take care of business Friday, you won't have to worry about Indiana."

Dunphy did say his mind was eased a little bit during the day Sunday, though not enough to join the party until the selection was official.

"I had heard enough of the prognostications, saw Joe Lunardi's line on the bottom of ESPN where he had us as a lock, so I felt a little better," said Dunphy. "Some prognostications had us in the 8-9 game. But you're very nervous, you never know what the situation is. We're grateful to be in, very fortunate for our lot in life, but we know we have a tough opponent in N.C. State."

Listen to a one-on-one interview with Dunphy as well as comments from players after the announcement.

Fran Dunphy:

Khalif Wyatt:

Anthony Lee:

Jake O'Brien:

Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson:

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