Sorry Nova: Owls Best the Big 5

Don't sleep on Temple

No-no, ‘Nova. Not this season.

As the Delaware Valley has fallen in lust with the No. 9 Villanova Wildcats, the Temple Owls have quietly clawed their way to the top of the Big 5, going 4-0 in the City of Brotherly Love for the first time in more than twenty years.

Yes, you read right. The Owls of North Broad are the best team in Philly. Even if they remain behind the Cats in the national polls.

Villanova has overshadowed Temple nationally for years, even this season. But, the T-Birds have gone 24-5 overall and are tied for first with a 12-2 record in the highly-rated Atlantic 10 Conference.

"It's a big deal for me," Head Coach Fran Dunphy told the Associated Press. "It's a big deal for Temple basketball. From a personal standpoint, to be declared champion of the Big 5 is very important."

It also could make the Owls into a March Madness sleeper.

"We've made a name for ourselves and everybody wants to beat us," sophomore guard Juan Fernandez proclaimed.

This was the 26th Big 5 title for the Owls (No. 16 ESPN/USA Today, No. 20 AP) who recently returned to the Top 25 for the first time since 2001. Their win over Villanova earlier this season also marked the first time that they knocked off a Top-5 team in a decade.

The Owls wrap up their regular season this week, traveling to Saint Louis on Wednesday and wrapping up the season game Saturday at the Liacouras Center against George Washington.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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