The Temple Owls may have earned themselves an at-large bid with a 84-76 win over No. 21 VCU in their regular season finale on Sunday. Temple dominated the second half with Khalif Wyatt leading the way, turning a five-point halftime deficit into an eight-point win.
Temple got out to a 12-3 lead to open the game, but VCU came storming back on a 35-10 run to take a 16-point lead. The Owls were able to close the gap before the half as the Rams went cold, but VCU still held a 41-36 halftime lead.
In the second half, Temple outplayed VCU with Wyatt scoring 18 of his 30 points. Wyatt went a disappointing 1-8 from beyond the arc, but repeatedly found his way to the line, going 13-16 from the charity stripe. The Owls went 26-31 from the foul line overall, while VCU only attempted 10 free throws (but made all 10).
It is a huge win for Temple, who sits squarely on the bubble, but now likely find themselves in the tournament. The Owls were a 12-seed in the latest bracket projections, but have won seven straight and nine of their last 10 overall. The win pushes them to 11-5 in the Atlantic-10, tied for third in the conference.
VCU falls to 12-4 in the A-10 and will be the two-seed in the conference tournament which begins March 14 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.