DAYTON, Ohio - Temple's Khalif Wyatt hit big shots all afternoon, but Victor Oladipo and the Hoosiers' defense came through when it mattered most, helping Indiana avoid being the second No. 1 seed to lose during the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament.
Oladipo, who finished with 16 points, hit his only 3-pointer of the game with 14 seconds remaining and the Hoosiers outlasted ninth-seeded Temple 58-52 in a third-round NCAA Tournament game on Sunday at University of Dayton Arena.
Cody Zeller scored 15 points and Will Sheehey added 10 for Indiana (29-6) which advances to face No. 4 seed Syracuse in the regional semifinals Thursday in Washington, D.C.
"Temple, like I said to our players in the huddle, they're as tough a team physically and mentally as we faced all year," said Indiana coach Tom Crean. "This was a hard earned victory that can only make us better."
Wyatt scored 20 of his 31 points in the first half and made a career-high 12 field goals to carry Temple (24-10). He hit three 3-pointers and went 4 of 4 from the free-throw line.
"He was tremendous," said Temple coach Fran Dunphy. "He's a great basketball player. He did a wonderful, wonderful job today. It'd be great to be able to celebrate it."
But in the final six minutes and 31 seconds, Indiana held Wyatt to just two points and no field goals opening the door for a late rally.
"The whole game, they were overplaying me," Wyatt said. "When I did get the ball I was able to make some plays. But they really started to faceguard me in the second half and made it difficult for me to get the ball. In the last six minutes, they pretty much took me out of the game."
Anthony Lee added 10 points for the Owls, which have never defeated a No. 1 seed in nine tries. For a while it appeared Wyatt was going to accomplish the feat on his own.
He hit eight of his first 12 shots from the floor to keep Temple close, reaching 20 points with 3:08 still remaining in the first half.
But the Owls didn't get much offensive production from Wyatt's teammates and Indiana trailed just 29-26 at halftime despite Wyatt's best efforts. It was the fifth time this season that the Hoosiers trailed at the half.
Wyatt took 14 of Temple's 34 shots from the field in the first half. The Owls outrebounded Indiana 21-18 and forced eight turnovers in the opening 20 minutes.
The second half began in similar fashion, with Wyatt hitting a jumper putting Temple ahead, 31-26. "I was just trying to be aggressive," Wyatt said. "My teammates kept coming to me."
But then Indiana, led by Oladipo, put the clamps on the Temple star.
"He's an amazing player," Oladipo said. "I was just trying to slow him down and limit his touches. He made a few tough shots. He's just a tough player, man."
It was clear throughout that the Owls were not intimidated by the top-seeded Hoosiers, as demonstrated by Lee's demonstrative block of a Zeller shot early in the second half.
And while Indiana was out of sync offensively for much of the game, Oladipo provided a spark with two straight baskets, including a dunk off his own steal, to trim the Hoosiers' deficit to 33-32.
After Sheehey hit a 3-pointer to tie the score 43-43, Wyatt immediately answered with a 3-pointer. But Temple was never able to extend its lead, keeping Indiana on the brink of a comeback.
Two free throws by Zeller tied the score 52-52. Oladipo hit one of two free throws, putting Indiana ahead by one point with 1:19 left.
After Temple's Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson missed a jumper, Oladipo delivered with a deep 3-pointer with 14 seconds left putting the Hoosiers ahead to stay.
NOTES: Wyatt's big game came after he injured his left thumb in Friday's win over North Carolina State when it became tangled in the jersey of a Wolfpack player. X-Rays on the thumb were negative. ... Indiana guard Jordan Hulls set an Indiana record with his 134th career game for the Hoosiers, breaking the mark held by Randy Wittman (1979-83) and Jeff Newton (2000-03).
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