Before you watch (5) Temple take on (12) Cornell stop by the nearest corner store grab some big red and pop a piece in your mouth.
Chew it for a minute.
It tastes good at first. Full of promise and flavor but the taste doesn’t last long and you spit it out.
That’s about all that Big Red has to offer. And although the chewing and spitting isn’t quite part of Temple Coach Fran Dunphy’s plan it’s something like that.
The under seeded Owls will have much to prove Friday at Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville Florida against a Cornell team that also has a seeding complaint.
Whatever non-prescription drugs the NCAA Tournament Committee is on doesn’t matter at this stage as the Owls who rock the nations’ fourth best scoring defense will look to lock down a Big Red offense that is tops in the nation from behind the arch.
Sorry all your bracket junkies out there. No upset here.
Don’t expect another Villanova/ Robert Morris match up- the Owls will win this one before overtime.
The ivy can only grow so thick and the Owls will add at least one more win to their streak of 10 before their season comes to an end.
This is the first meeting between the two programs and if Temple drop kicks the media driven love story between Dunphy’s and his former assistant now Cornell Head Coach Steve Donahue, it will be the Owls first tourney win since 2001.
A line the now veteran Owls, three straight dances, want to blow faster than Ron Washington off a Louisville Slugger.
The Owls will need to score early against the Ivy League champs, much like they did in the Atlantic 10 tourney outscoring the field 102-69 in the first half of their three games.
The key for Temple; score quick, score early and don’t bench your two best scorers.
Temple doesn’t floss a true center but forwards Lavoy Allen (11.7 ppg., 10.9 rpg., 49 blocks) and Micheal Eric (3.1 rpg.) will bang up seven footer Jeff Foote (12.3 ppg., 8.2 rpg.) down low en route to domination of the boards.
Guard Juan Fernandez (12.4 ppg., 3.7 ppg.) will bring flash backs of Stevie Nash’s bowl cut high short Santa Clara days and defensive blitzkrieger Ryan Brooks (14.3 ppg.)will knock down Cornell’s leading scorer Ryan Wittman (17.5 ppg.) like a Cliff Lee (97 mph) four-seamer to the skull.
Simply put, Temple, will be looking to break out the snare against a bunch of rabid Badgers in round duce after they send the only underachievers at Cornell back to the books.