Temple Gets First NCAA Bid Since '01

Christmas scores 22 to lead Owls past rival St. Joseph's
By Mitch Pritchard,  Newser User
Posted Mar 15, 2008 9:55 PM CDT
Temple's Sergio Olmos, left, and Semaj Inge smile as they hold the Atlantic 10 trophy after defeating Saint Joseph's, 69-64, in the final game in the Atlantic 10 Men's Basketball Championship in Atlantic...   (AP Photo/David Gard)
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(Newser) – Temple earned its first NCAA Tournament bid since reaching the Elite Eight in 2001, with a 69-64 triumph over Saint Joseph's in the Atlantic 10 championship game today, reports the Associated Press. Dionte Christmas scored 22 points for the Owls (21-12), who won a league-best seventh title by shooting 61% in the second half in a game played on the tourney's neutral court site in Atlantic City.

"This is one of those teams where there is great chemistry to it," said coach Fran Dunphy, who took Penn to nine NCAA Tournaments before taking over for John Chaney two years ago. St. Joseph's (21-12) must wait out Selection Sunday to see if its upset of No. 10 Xavier in the semis—it's second win over the Musketeers in eight days—was enough to get them into the tournament.