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Temple gets South Florida; Drexel rolls in NIT

March Madness began with a Drexel win, and losses from St. Joe's and La Salle.

Temple will play South Florida to open their NCAA tournament championship bid.

The Owls (24-7), the Midwest Region’s fifth seed will open tourney play Friday in Nashville at 9:50 p.m. against No. 12 South Florida. The Bulls (21-13) defeated California 65-54 in a first-round game Wednesday night.

In NIT news …

No. 3 Drexel routed Central Florida in their NIT opener, 81-56. Guard Chris Fouch paced the Dragons (28-6) with 19 points and went 5-of-11 from beyond the arc. Drexel gets No. 7 Northern Iowa in a second-round matchup.

Saint Joseph’s (20-14) lost their NIT opener in heart-breaking fashion after Seth Tuttle sank two free throws with 1.3 seconds left to give Northern Iowa a 67-65 win. Tuttle finished with 23 points and 11 rebounds. Carl Jones scored 24 points and C.J. Aiken had 16 for the Hawks.

La Salle (21-13) was also disappointed in the NIT, falling 70-61 to Minnesota. The Explorers were outscored 11-4 over the final six minutes in their first postseason tournament appearance since 1991-92. Earl Pettis paced La Salle with 19 points.

 
 
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