Josh Safran’s Virtual College Basketball Season: Temple Shocks Boise State in Preseason NIT Semifinals (Game 5)

Note: Josh Safran, the creator of Corona Madness, got very bored while in quarantine and wanted to see this year’s college basketball season played to completion. Thus, he used the Temple Men’s Basketball roster to play a hybrid version of their schedule in the NCAA10 video game. The team competes in the A-10 and isn’t an exact replica, but it’s here to serve your basketball boredom for now.

Written by: Josh Safran

(This game comes at the heels of a simulated victory over Air Force in the Preseason NIT tournament, please tweet @Josh_Safran with any questions about that game)

Twenty minutes of basketball were played tonight but it would simply be a waste of time to address nineteen of those twenty minutes.  Entering the final minute, Alani Moore II had the second most points for the cherry and the white, tallying 8.  When the buzzer sounded just 1:18 later, Moore would walk out of Madison Square Garden with 20 points and a W.

In what’s being called an early game of the year candidate, the Temple Owls stormed back from a late 8 point deficit to shock Boise State in the NIT Preseason Semifinals 50-49.  The Owls (4-1) were a one man team in the closing stretch, with Alani Moore making four straight threes and collecting all of Temple’s final 12 points en route to the epic comeback.  While Moore’s heroic final minute may land him an ESPY later this year, Boise State (2-2) have no one to blame but themselves, shooting 1-of-3 from the free throw line in the final thirty seconds.

The game was all but over.  Down 8 with 1:15 left there were no plays to be called, the game plan was run down the court and score as fast as possible.  Alani Moore bolted down the court to the three point line, stepped back, and knocked down a three.  On Temple’s next possession, the Owls swung the ball around the perimeter for a few seconds before the ball reached Moore from 26 feet out, naturally he drained it.  

Down five with 11 seconds left on Temple’s ensuing possession that lasted the length of a catch and shoot, as Moore caught the inbound from NBA three-point range and unloaded another making it just a two point game with nine ticks left.  

After Boise missed the front end of the 1 and 1 and De’Vondre Perry was set to inbound with 6 seconds left, two things were very clear.  Temple had no intentions of playing for overtime, and there was only one man touching that ball.  Somehow the senior pulled it off one final time, aided by a screen from Quinton Rose, Moore broke free behind the arc, caught, and let it fly for his fourth consecutive, and game winning three pointer.

0.7% was the win probability for the Owls as Rose inbounded the ball down 7 with 41.6 seconds left on the clock. 

For context, when the New England Patriots were down 28-3 in Super Bowl 51, they had a 0.4% chance of winning.  As we all know, the Patriots had debatably the greatest quarterback in NFL history combined with possibly the greatest head coach in NFL history at their disposal and spit on that 0.4%.  Temple, on the other hand, had a 5’10 guard from Washington D.C who caught fire at the perfect time.

Preseason tournaments are good for three things: resume building for bubble teams, an early taste of March, and a bridge between family interaction and NFL Football on Thanksgiving.  Tonight’s Preseason NIT Semifinal was all of those things and Moore.

Temple will play Tom Crean’s Indiana Hoosiers tomorrow night in the championship game. 

View the game highlights on YouTube:


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