Um, yeah. So heading into last night, Temple had a chance to take over the top spot in the A-10 if it took care of business and got a little help from from its Philadelphia brethren. That's right, if St. Joe's could somehow manage to upset top-seeded Xavier and Temple simply won a very winnable game against Big 5 foe La Salle, the Owls would be sitting in first place in Atlantic 10 conference and be in a very good spot for an NCAA tournament bid.
Well, that certainly didn't happen. Somehow, some way, Temple, playing for pretty much everything a team can play for, lost to lowly La Salle, 70-63. I'd like to tell you exactly how that happened, but for some unknown, inexcusable reason, a game between two Philadelphia schools, Temple and La Salle, with huge NCAA tournament implications for the Owls, was not on Comcast digital cable anywhere in the city of Philadelphia. That, my friends, is complete and utter horseshit. I was thoroughly looking forward to watching the game, but I was denied. Shame on you Comcast. Shame on you.
Turns out that may have been for the best though, because I would have gotten all sorts of pissed watching Temple throw its season away. Now the Owls absolutely have to win the A-10 tournament to get in. Had they simply won out and gotten to the A-10 final, that may have been enough. Maybe not, but now that's a moot point. Temple choked and the A-10 tournament is the only saving grace. Pathetic.
While all that was going on, I had the pleasure of watching St. Joe's give Xavier all it could handle for a while at the Palestra. Thanks ESPN2. First off, I'd like to say that I thoroughly enjoyed Doug Gottlieb, Jon Sciambi and Tom Brennan. I really did. Gottlieb is just flat-out knowledgeable and funny, and his report with Sciami and Brennan was awesome. Plus, you never know when Gottlieb may pull out something awesome like this:
Anyway, St. Joe's played a tough game, but in the end, Xavier was just too much. The Musketeers were simply too big and too strong for the Hawks, crashing the offensive boards with abandon, and really, outside of Ahmad Nivins, who was a beast again, St. Joe's didn't get much going. So instead of both teams winning and boosting the profile for Philadelphia hoops, both teams fell and sent a crucial blow to potential representation for Big 5 schools in the NCAA tournament.
Basically, it's Villanova. That's it. Because Temple choked. Although, they have been known to win an A-10 tourney or two, so stay tuned.