Temple In, Drexel Out Of NCAA Tournament
By Dan Majka
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — March Madness continues for Temple, while Drexel is just plain mad.
The Owls were selected as the #5 seed in the Midwest Region, but the Dragons were not among the 68 teams chosen to compete in this year’s NCAA Tournament.
Tempe, 24-7 overall this season, was the regular-season champion of the Atlantic-10, but Fran Dunphy’s squad was upset by Massachusetts in the quarterfinals of the A-10 Tournament.
“To be honest with you, I thought we would fall a little bit more because we had such a difficult loss on Friday,” said Dunphy. “But I appreciate the respect that the committee had for Temple.”
Temple will have to wait a few days to find out who their opponent will be when they begin play in Nashville, Tennessee on Friday. The Owls will take on the winner of Wednesday night’s opening round game between #12 California and South Florida.
California (24-9) lost to Colorado in the Pac-12 Semifinal.
South Florida (20-13) fell to Notre Dame in the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament, one day after eliminating Villanova.
Meanwhile, Drexel is forced to settle for an appearance in the NIT.
The Dragons (27-6) won 19 straight games, but lost to Virginia Commonwealth, 59-56, in the Colonial Athletic Association Championship. As a result, Bruiser Flint’s team failed to earn the automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament, and was forced to leave it in the hands of the selection committee.
“We wanted to play in their tournament,” Flint said. “They didn’t let us.”
Drexel had an RPI of 66 and their strength of schedule was ranked 248. It’s those numbers that likely kept the Dragons on the outside looking in.
“I guess we’ve got to play some tougher games, whether we win them or lose them,” Flint said. “I guess that’s what they’re telling me. No matter whether you win or lose, just put someone on the schedule who has a decent RPI.”
KYW’s Ed Benkin talks with Drexel coach Bruiser Flint right after learning that Drexel was not selected for the NCAA Tournament:
Drexel hasn’t competed in the Big Dance since 1996 when Malik Rose led the Dragons to their only Tournament win after an upset of fifth-seeded Memphis.
Drexel earned a #3 seed in the NIT and will host Central Florida on Wednesday night.