SOMEWHERE, Temple's players are smiling.
Indiana, a team many thought was given a spot in the tournament that should have gone to the Owls, lost to Wichita State, 81-76, in a second-round game in Omaha, Neb., yesterday.
Fred VanVleet matched his career high with 27 points and Ron Baker made big free throws late for seventh-seeded Wichita (29-4), which advances to a much-anticipated Sunflower State showdown with second-seeded Kansas tomorrow.
The Shockers' mantra is "play angry," which is exactly what senior Darius Carter did after nearly having a front tooth knocked out when he caught an elbow in the mouth.
He left the game briefly, then returned for the Shockers' decisive 15-3 run in the middle of the second half.
"I let out a big scream and I felt a release," said Carter, who finished with nine points and seven rbounds. "I just wanted to win, that's all. I'm thankful I got my tooth. That would be a bad look, to not have a front tooth."
As it was, there were toothy smiles all around as the Shockers won their tournament opener for the third straight year in typical bruising style.
Tomorrow, they meet the Jayhawks for the first time since 1993. The schools, separated by a couple hours of highway, have not played since then because of the Jayhawks' stubborn refusal to schedule the Shockers.
"It's a big thing for the state of Kansas," said Baker, who hails from Scott City, Kan. "A lot of houses are going to be divided."
Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell scored 24 points for 10th-seeded Indiana (20-14). James Blackmon Jr. added 14 points, and Troy Williams and Collin Hartman had 11 apiece.
In other Midwest games:
* At Omaha, Neb., Frank Mason III scored 17 points to lead a balanced attack, and second-seeded Kansas defeated New Mexico State, 75-56, to give the Big 12 its first win of the tournament after three losses on Thursday.
Perry Ellis added nine points for the Jayhawks (27-8).
DK Eldridge had 11 points and Remi Barry and Tshilidzi Nephawa scored 10 each for the Aggies (23-11), who had won 13 straight while sweeping the Western Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament titles.
* At Columbus, Ohio, Tarik Phillip hit a three-pointer with 28 seconds left while the shot clock was winding down, to help lead fifth-seeded West Virginia over No. 12 Buffalo, 68-62.
Devin Williams, who led the Mountaineers with 17 points and nine rebounds, hit two free throws with 2:10 left to give his team the lead for good.
West Virginia (24-9) advances to tomorrow's game against Maryland.
Buffalo (23-10) did not score over the final 2:42.
* At Columbus, Ohio, Maryland's Dez Wells converted an offensive rebound into a three-point play with 1:44 left and Varun Ram stripped away Valparaiso's last chance as the fourth-seeded Terps held off the determined Crusaders, 65-62.
Alec Peters led 13th-seeded Valpo (28-6) with 18 points.
* At Charlotte, N.C., Denzel Valentine scored 16 points and went 6-for-6 at the free-throw line in the final 30 seconds to help Michigan State hold off Georgia, 70-63.
Travis Trice scored 15 points and Branden Dawson had a strong second half for the seventh-seeded Spartans (24-11), who advanced to face second-seeded Virginia tomorrow.
Charles Mann scored 19 points to lead the 10th-seeded Bulldogs.
* At Charlotte, N.C., Malcolm Brogdon scored 22 points to lead second-seeded Virginia over Belmont, 79-67.
Justin Anderson had 15 points on 4-for-6 shooting and Anthony Gill added 16 points for the Cavaliers (30-3).
Belmont (22-11) had clawed within two behind 25 points from Crag Bradshaw, but the Cavaliers outscored the Bruins 17-7 over the final 4:37 of the game.
* At Seattle, freshman Quentin Snider hit the winning free throws and Terry Rozier made the saving steal to help fourth-seeded Louisville top UC Irvine, 57-55.
Snider, who finished with a career-high 16 points, made the free throws with 8.9 seconds left and the 13th-seeded Anteaters (21-13) never got a final shot.
Wayne Blackshear had 19 points for the Cardinals (25-8), who will play Northern Iowa tomorrow.
* At Seattle, Paul Jesperson led five Northern Iowa players in double figures with 16 points as the fifth-seeded Panthers defeated Wyoming, 71-54.
Northern Iowa (31-3) built a 21-point lead after scoring 11 of the first 12 points to start the second half.
Larry Nance Jr. led Wyoming (25-10) with 16 points.
* At Columbus, Ohio, TaShawn Thomas scored 18 points to lead third-seeded Oklahoma to a 69-60 win over Albany.
The Sooners (23-10) will play the winner of last night's Providence-Dayton game tomorrow.
The Great Danes (24-9) were led by Peter Hooley's 15 ponts.
* At Charlotte, N.C., Quinn Cook scored 22 points to help No. 1 seed Duke get off to a torrid start and beat Robert Morris, 85-56.
Freshman Jahlil Okafor added 21 as the Blue Devils (30-4) wasted little time getting their offense revving, hitting their first seven shots and 12 of 15 to quickly build a big lead.
* At Seattle, Aaron White scored 13 straight points as part of Iowa's 18-3 run early in the second half, and the seventh-seeded Hawkeyes rolled to an 83-52 rout of Davidson.
White finished with 26 points for Iowa (22-11), which will play the winner of last night's Gonzaga-North Dakota State game.
Jack Gibbs and Peyton Aldridge scored 14 to lead Davidson (24-8), a 10th seed.
* At Omaha, Neb., Joseph Young scored 27 points, Elgin Cook added 18 and eighth-seeded Oregon beat Oklahoma State, 79-73.
Dillon Brooks had 17 points for the Ducks (26-9), who play the winner of the Wisconsin-Coastal Carolina game.