HARTFORD, Conn. - Now comes the hard part for Temple.
The wait until the NCAA tournament selection show Sunday evening is assured to be tense after a 69-56 loss to top-seeded Southern Methodist in the American Athletic Conference semifinals Saturday at the XL Center.
The fourth-seeded Owls (23-10) must sweat it out to see whether they will earn the seventh NCAA bid in coach Fran Dunphy's nine seasons.
"There is great angst, great angst," Dunphy said.
He said he hadn't thought much about it because he was preparing for each game, but now it is all that will be on his mind until the selection show.
"It's certainly the hope that we did enough," Dunphy said.
Temple, with a signature win over Kansas, a 13-5 AAC regular-season mark, and a solid 32 RPI entering the day according to NCAA.com, will have a good argument for inclusion.
"I try not to think about it just because it is too stressful," point guard Will Cummings said about earning an NCAA bid. "We hope we got our resumé to the point where the NCAA respects it and gives us a shot at the tournament."
To top it off, Cummings, who had nine points and shot 2 for 10 against SMU, left the court in pain holding his left shoulder with 4 minutes, 42 seconds left and the Owls trailing by 59-50.
Even with Cummings out, the Owls showed some fight. Twice trailing by seven points within the last 2:05, the Owls missed long three-pointers.
Cummings returned with 1:09 left and the Owls trailing by 65-56, but by then the Mustangs' win was assured. He said he originally injured the shoulder in Friday's 80-75 win over Memphis and then hurt it against SMU reaching for a ball.
"I am just going to keep icing it and hope it gets better," he said.
The loss was Temple's third this season to the 26-6 Mustangs. Temple led by as many as 10 points in the first half and held a 28-26 lead at halftime. It was the third game this season in which Temple held a double-digit lead over SMU.
Philadelphia product and former Villanova player Markus Kennedy led SMU with 17 points.
Temple got few transition opportunities, and the Owls weren't effective in their half-court offense, shooting just 4 for 24 from three-point range.
With Temple leading, 36-35, early in the second half, SMU went on a 14-2 run to get separation.
Jaylen Bond, who suffered a sprained ankle Friday against Memphis, was in Temple's starting lineup but played only 11 minutes because of foul trouble. He picked up two within the first six minutes in the first half and two more early in the second.
"Of course I felt it, but it wasn't to the point where I couldn't play through it," Bond said of the ankle.
Now the Owls, who were led by Quenton DeCosey's 14 points, have to sit back and wait.
Let the angst begin.