NCAA

Tonight in the City 6: Temple hosts Charlotte

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Tonight in the City 6: Temple hosts Charlotte

There’s just about a month left until it’s tournament time, and no City 6 school has truly emerged as the top team. Yet five of the six still have realistic chances to go dancing (see story).

Wednesday, two of those teams will be in action:

Charlotte (17-4, 5-2 A-10) at Temple (14-7, 3-4)
7 p.m., Liacouras Center

Previous games
The Owls held a nine-point lead with under six minutes to go before they allowed St. Joe’s to go on an 18-5 run. Temple couldn’t stop the bleeding in time and fell to the Hawks at Hagan Arena, 70-69. Khalif Wyatt dropped a career-high 34 points and shot 7 for 14 from long range.

Charlotte kept its flawless home record intact when it escaped its matchup with UMass with a 66-65 victory. The 49ers shot just 39.7 percent from the field (to the Minutemen’s 49.0 percent), but they made it up at the free throw line, where they made 16 of 26 attempts compared to UMass’ dismal 6 of 16.

Top players
Wyatt isn’t just Temple’s top player, he’s been on fire lately, averaging 25.1 points over his last seven contests and earning an A-10 co-Player of the Week award. On the season, the 6-foot-4 senior puts up 18.6 points and 4.0 assists on a nightly basis.

Big man Anthony Lee leads the team in rebounding (7.8 per game) and field goal percentage (55.3 percent).

DeMario Mayfield leads Charlotte in scoring at 11.7 points per game, but he’s been suspended indefinitely since Jan. 30. Chris Braswell, a 6-foot-9 forward, is the only other man putting up double-digits, at 11.4 per game. He also averages 5.7 rebounds.

All-time series
Temple holds a 7-5 advantage in the series and has won the last two contests. The Owls are also a perfect 5-0 against the 49ers at the Liacouras Center.

St. Joe’s (13-7, 4-3 A-10) at Dayton (12-9, 2-5)
7 p.m., University of Dayton Arena

Previous games
As mentioned above, the Hawks beat Temple, 70-69, on Saturday at Hagan Arena. C.J. Aiken had the go-ahead layup with 25 seconds to go. Ronald Roberts Jr. recorded a double-double with teams high in points (18) and rebounds (12). Aiken and Carl Jones had 16 points apiece.

Dayton dropped its fifth straight decision on the road, getting clobbered by Saint Louis, 81-52. The Flyers turned the ball over 20 times and hit just three treys to the Billikens’ nine. The loss marked Dayton’s largest in A-10 play in 16 years.

Top players
Reigning Big 5 Player of the Week Carl Jones leads the way with 15.1 points per game. He averaged 17.7 points in wins and just 11.0 in losses.

Ronald Roberts Jr. has notched two consecutive double-doubles to bring his total to 10 for the season. In those games, the Hawks are 7-3.

For Dayton, Kevin Dillard leads the Flyers in just about everything: points (14.5), assists (4.7), steals (1.2), free throw percentage (86.7 percent) and minutes (32.1). He’s one of three players to average double-digits, the others being Vee Sanford (12.8) and Josh Benson (10.2).

All-time series
The Flyers are 18-13 against St. Joe’s and have taken seven straight tilts at UD Arena, with the Hawks’ last win coming in the 2000-01 season.

Villanova stays at No. 5 in AP poll; Temple receives votes

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Villanova stays at No. 5 in AP poll; Temple receives votes

A week where Villanova barely had to break a sweat has Jay Wright and his Wildcats holding steady in the latest AP poll.

After making quick work of Nicholls St. on Tuesday and then Lafayette Friday evening in Allentown, the 'Cats are the No. 5 team in the land for the second straight week. They moved up from No. 6 last week after leapfrogging now-No.8 Kentucky.

There's an excellent chance things are going to get much trickier for the Wildcats this week as they head to the Bahamas for the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament, which starts Wednesday vs. Western Kentucky. But a potential second-round matchup with No. 18 Purdue looms Thursday, as does a potential championship showdown of titanic proportions with No. 2 Arizona on Friday.

But the 'Cats aren't the only team with some AP poll notoriety this week.

Fran Dunphy's 3-0 Temple team received four votes this week after capturing the Charleston Classic crown. The Owls earned the honors with victories over Old Dominion, Auburn and Clemson.

The Owls next game is their first of the season in the Big 5 as they'll travel to Olney to face La Salle on Sunday. The Owls and Wildcats will meet in North Philly on Dec. 13.

Duke was again No. 1 in this week's poll. Arizona leaped to No. 2, Kansas held its ground at No. 3 and Michigan State slipped to No. 4 before Villanova rounded out the top 5. 

Tons at stake as Temple hosts unbeaten UCF; Penn, Villanova wrap up

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Tons at stake as Temple hosts unbeaten UCF; Penn, Villanova wrap up

Temple (5-5, 3-3 AAC) vs. No. 15 UCF (9-0, 6-0 AAC)
Lincoln Financial Field
Saturday, noon, ESPNU

Last time out
Temple beat Cincinnati, 35-24, last Friday.

UCF beat UConn, 49-24, last Saturday.

Scouting report
Both teams have a lot at stake in Saturday’s game. An Owls win would make them bowl eligible and give them a victory against a high-ranked opponent, which would certainly help when it comes time for bowl selection. On the other hand, UCF will look to preserve its perfect season and stay atop the AAC's East Division with a crucial matchup against 8-1 South Florida looming.

Frank Nutile, who will make his fourth consecutive start at quarterback, has sparked Temple’s offense. Since he stepped in, he has completed 61 of 89 passes for 803 yards, six touchdowns and just two interceptions, and led the Owls to two wins. He will need to continue his stellar play for Temple to beat UCF, which boasts the second-best total and scoring defense in the AAC, allowing 371 yards per game and 20.7 points per game.

The Knights also have the best total offense in the conference, putting up 538 yards per game and 48.6 points per game, which is more than six points better than the second-best team. The Owls must keep UCF quarterback McKenzie Milton (2,720 yards, 22 touchdowns, five interceptions) and the Knights' rushing attack, which averages 210.2 yards per game, in check if they want a chance at the upset.

Series history
The series is tied at 2-2 and Temple has won the past two matchups, including a 26-25 come-from-behind win last year.

What's next?
Temple travels to play Tulsa next Saturday.

UCF hosts No. 23 South Florida on Friday night.

Penn (5-4, 3-3 Ivy) vs. Cornell (3-6, 3-3 Ivy)
Franklin Field
Saturday, 1:30 p.m.


Last time out
Penn defeated Harvard, 23-6, last Saturday.

Cornell lost to Columbia, 18-8, last Saturday.

Scouting report
Penn has won its last three Ivy League contests and has gained a lot of momentum after losing its first three Ivy League games this season. Cornell shouldn’t pose much of a challenge to the Quakers since the Big Red are second worst in the conference in scoring offense, total offense and pass efficiency. The Quakers’ strength is their rushing attack, as they average 192 yards per game on the ground. Cornell’s rush defense is sixth in the conference, so look for the Quakers to take advantage of this matchup.

Series history
This is the 124th meeting between the teams. The Quakers hold a 72-46-5 advantage and won, 42-20, last season. 

What's next?
This is the final game of the season for both teams.

Villanova (4-6, 2-5 CAA) vs. Delaware (7-3, 5-2 CAA)
Villanova Stadium, Villanova, Pennsylvania 
Saturday, 1 p.m.


Last time out
Villanova lost to Rhode Island, 20-6, last Saturday.

Delaware beat Albany, 22-3, last Saturday.

Scouting report
What stands out about this regular-season finale are the defenses for Delaware and Villanova. Delaware’s scoring defense is second to James Madison as the Blue Hens allow just 15.7 points per game. The Wildcats’ specialty on the defensive side of the football is their run defense. Villanova allows only 72 yards per game on the ground and will look to slow down a Delaware rushing attack that averages 200 yards per game. Also to note, the Blue Hens come in fighting for a berth in the FCS playoffs.

Series history
Villanova leads the series 28-21-1. The Wildcats won, 41-10, last season.

What's next?
This is the regular-season finale for both Villanova and Delaware. For the second time in the last three seasons, the Wildcats won't make the FCS playoffs.