The men’s basketball team is returning to the NCAA tournament after a two-year absence.
The Owls (21-11, 14-4 American Athletic Conference) are the No. 10 seed in the South region and will play the No. 7 seed, the University of Iowa from the Big 10 Conference, on Friday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
The last time Temple went to the NCAA tournament was in 2013, when the team was still a member of the Atlantic 10 Conference. The Owls were a No. 9 seed in the East region and defeated No. 8 North Carolina State University before losing to No. 1 Indiana University Bloomington, 58-52.
Temple won The American’s regular season championship this season. The Owls grabbed wins against Southern Methodist, Tulsa, Houston, Cincinnati (twice) and Connecticut (twice), who finished immediately below Temple in the conference standings.
Coach Fran Dunphy’s team entered the American Athletic tournament as the No. 1 seed before losing to eventual champion UConn on Saturday in the semifinals, 77-62.
Iowa (21-10, 12-6 Big 10) started the season 19-4 before dropping six of its last eight games. The Hawkeyes finished tied for third in the Big 10 regular season standings and were a No. 5 seed in the Big 1o tournament. Coach Fran McCaffery, who is from Philadelphia, and his team fell to the University of Illinois 68-66 in their first conference tournament game.
The winner of the Temple-Iowa game will face the winner of No. 2 seed Villanova and No. 15 the University of North Carolina at Asheville on Sunday at the Barclays Center.
Owen McCue can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @Owen_McCue