Indiana’s junior all-American guard, a DeMatha High graduate, drained a key three-pointer from the top of the key to help his Hoosiers escape past upset-minded Temple, 58-52, and send them into the Sweet 16 against Syracuse at Verizon Center on Thursday.
Victor Oladipo last played at the Verizon Center in 2010 when DeMatha defeated Ballou in the City Title game, Oladipo’s sr year in HS.
— Troy Machir (@TroyMachir) March 24, 2013
The heart-thumping excitement established in the NCAA tournament games late Saturday night spilled over into Sunday’s early games at University of Dayton Arena. First, Aaron Craft sank a three-pointer with 0.5 of a second left to lift Ohio State. Then Oladipo provided his own clutch moment.
Up one point with 48 seconds left, Indiana bled the clock with its motion offense until Oladipo stepped into a three-pointer with just two seconds left on the shot clock. Temple guard Khalif Wyatt, otherwise the afternoon’s breakout star with his second straight 31-point performance, misfired on a three-pointer on the other end, allowing Indiana to clinch at the free throw line.
Oladipo’s heroics wouldn’t have been made possible without a season-saving block from Christian Watford at the rim seconds earlier.
And it was nearly spoiled by Wyatt, who shot 12 for 24 from the field and, through two NCAA tournament games, scored 62 points. Oladipo got exposed on the defensive end early by Wyatt, who entered halftime with 20 of Temple 29 points, but atoned when it counted. Wyatt also was the only Owls player to make a three-pointer, going 3 for 12 (the rest of the team went 0 for 12).
Indiana is the fourth Big Ten Team (Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State) in the Sweet 16. Two more — Illinois and Minnesota — are in action later Sunday.
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