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Indiana University

Associated Press
Temple guard Khalif Wyatt, left, is dealing with a left thumb injury heading into today’s game against Indiana.
IU notebook

Owl gives thumbs up on playing with injury

– The celebrity injury of the weekend – the dinged left thumb of Temple guard Khalif Wyatt, the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year – has turned out to be something of a bust.

“It’s good,” Wyatt said Saturday afternoon, 24 hours before the ninth-seeded Owls’ showdown with top-seeded Indiana.

“It’s a little sore right now, but it’ll be fine tomorrow.”

Temple coach Fran Dunphy gave the same prognosis.

“He’ll be a little tender probably on that thumb,” he said. “I don’t think it’s real severe. The doctor looked at it today and taped it up and he did pretty well. Even if it were (bad), he’s not going to let me take him out of the game.”

A-10 has been A-OK

It’s not the first, or third, or maybe even fifth option you think of when the topic turns to power college basketball conferences. But after the first two days of the NCAA Tournament, the Atlantic 10 was 7-0 thanks to the work of St. Louis and Butler and Temple and VCU and even La Salle, a 13 seed that knocked 4 seed Kansas State out of the tournament.

No surprise to insiders like Temple guard T.J. DiLeo.

“Yeah, it’s something that we’ve known all year, that the A-10 is a tough league,” DiLeo said Saturday. “I think it’s prepared us well for the tournament. There’s a lot of different styles in the A10, so that’s good. It’s a tough league.”

Big Ten plays big

If DiLeo was willing to wave the banner for the A-10, Tom Crean was every bit as willing to wave it for the Big Ten, which was 6-1 when Crean took the podium Saturday.

“I think the Big Ten is outstanding,” he said. “Again, I think the league prepares you for everything. Everything and anything, like I tell our team all the time.

“So no surprise whatsoever with how the Big Ten is playing.”

Hoosier turned Owl

There’ll be more than a few interested observers when Temple and Indiana take the floor today. But maybe no one will be more interested than Neil Theobald, Temple’s freshly minted president.

Theobald, who took office at the start of this year, came to Temple from, yes, Indiana, where he was a senior administrator for more than a decade.

“This’ll be fun,” Temple coach Fran Dunphy said.