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Waiting in the Wings: The Temple Return and Conference Tournament Special


Of course today it was announced that Temple would return to the Big East in 2012 for football, and 2013 for all other sports. They were thrown out of the league in 2001, with a stay of execution to 2004 so they could find a new home, because at the time they sucked by virtually every possible meaningful measure.

The move was extremely rare. It's something the SEC could use to do to Vanderbilt.

But what a difference 8 years makes. In football, they've made bowls two of the past three years, including beating Wyoming in the 2011 New Mexico Bowl.

In basketball, they've made the tournament the last four years, and made the round of 32 last year. This year, they are #21 in the AP poll and #24 in the Coaches' poll going into the conference tournament, which they open for the Atlantic 10 against UMass on Friday night. Current Bracketology from Joe Lunardi has them the 5th seed in the East, and a #13 in RPI, a sure bet to make their fifth tournament in a row.

If they left a disgrace 8 years ago, they will undoubtedly return to a hero's welcome.

Unless you're Villanova.

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Southern Methodist has already been bounced from the C-USA tournament. They were the 11th seed out of 12, and lost to Marshall, 74-56. SMU finishes the season 13-19, including 4-12 in regular-season conference play.

#9 Houston ended up suffering a heartbreaking 67-62 overtime loss to UTEP. They finish 15-15 overall, with a 7-9 conference record.

#1 Memphis and #4 UCF got first-round byes in the C-USA tournament. UCF will play UAB, and Memphis will play UTEP. Both those matches are tomorrow.

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