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Indiana edges Temple to reach Sweet 16

Indiana’s Victor Oladipo, right, hollers while leading a late surge that included a 3-pointer with 14 seconds left.

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Indiana’s Victor Oladipo, right, hollers while leading a late surge that included a 3-pointer with 14 seconds left.

DAYTON, Ohio — Indiana's season, the one that's supposed to finish with confetti falling and nets coming down, was minutes from ending in shock and disappointment.

The Hoosiers were on the brink.

As the clock ticked down, coach Tom Crean wouldn't allow himself to think about defeat, so his mind wandered elsewhere.

"That's when you just pray," he said.

Victor Oladipo answered.

The junior guard hit a 3-pointer with 14 seconds left and the top-seeded Hoosiers, unable to stop Temple star Khalif Wyatt for most of the game, shut him down in the final three minutes for a 58-52 win on Sunday in the East Region.

Trailing by four with 2:56 left, the Hoosiers (29-6) closed with a 10-0 run and advanced to the Sweet 16 for the second straight year. After stopping to tell Temple's players they're as good as any Big Ten team, Crean, his red tie askew and his hair messed, was overcome by emotion.

"That," he said, "was relief."

Indiana, with its sights set on a sixth national championship, will play No. 4 seed Syracuse in the region semifinals on Thursday in Washington, a rematch of the classic 1987 title game won by the Hoosiers.

Wyatt scored 31 to lead the ninth-seeded Owls (24-10), who for 37 minutes gave Indiana all it could handle before collapsing when it mattered most.

"We competed really hard," Wyatt said. "We battled. A couple plays here and there, we win. It was just a tough battled game, and they came out on top."

Oladipo scored 16 and Cody Zeller added 15 for the regular-season Big Ten champs.

Indiana edges Temple to reach Sweet 16 03/24/13 [Last modified: Sunday, March 24, 2013 8:44pm]
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