NEW YORK - Khalif Wyatt was eager to play at Madison Square Garden.
The Temple guard was aware of the arena's storied basketball history. It's the place where Rick Barry, Bernard King, Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and many others gave memorable performances.
Judging by the media attention after Saturday's game, it was obvious that Wyatt had added another chapter to MSG lore.
The guard finished with a career-high 33 points to lead Temple to an 83-79 upset of third-ranked Syracuse.
"They call it the Mecca of basketball," Wyatt said. "I never played here before. I always wanted to. I always watched it on TV. I know Michael Jordan always had great games here. There are a lot of great games that have been here.
"I just always wanted to be a part of it. A chance to play in the Garden was a great experience."
The 6-foot-4 senior brought Temple back from a 10-point deficit in the first half. Then the Norristown native helped to clinch the game with six clutch foul shots in the final minute.
For the game, Wyatt was 15 for 15 from the foul line. He also finished with a team-high four assists to go with three rebounds. Wyatt did commit a game-high five turnovers and made just 2 of 8 three-pointers. His ability to keep producing in clutch situations overshadowed that, however.
"This is probably up there with the Duke game, I guess," Wyatt said, referring to his game-high 22 points in a 78-75 victory over the then-fifth-ranked Blue Devils last season. "But because of the venue, this is probably the top one because of where it was at, a lot of people were here, and it was an important win for us."