Josh Safran’s Virtual College Basketball Season: Temple Tops Indiana at Buzzer for Preseason NIT Title (Game 6)

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

Alani Moore’s phone died twice before he could respond to all of his texts following his heroics from Sunday night.  This time around, Alani couldn’t quite live up to his 20 point total from Sunday.  Maybe he was a bit tired from celebrating, because all he did this time around was roll out of bed and make a championship winning buzzer beater.

There will be no banner and there certainly won’t be a parade, but in the Preseason NIT Championship, Alani Moore reached into his bag of tricks one more time and pushed the Owls past the Indiana Hoosiers 47-45.  

If only Temple (5-1) had the luxury of playing in Madison Square Garden more than twice a year.  Not only is this their second NIT Season Tip-Off championship in the last five years, the building appeared to be radiating magic reminiscent of a 2011 Tim Tebow.  First, nothing short of a miracle comeback against Boise State, and just 24 hours later, a buzzer beater in the championship against a quadrant 1 team in Indiana (4-1).

Going into this season for Temple, all eyes were on one senior guard, Quinton Rose.  While Rose has produced amply, Alani Moore II is making sure everyone remembers “Q” isn’t the only senior guard on this roster.  Last night’s heroics of four straight three-pointers in the game’s final ninety seconds was incredible enough.  Tonight, Alani Moore didn’t just hit the game winning buzzer beater, but he was also the reason Temple found themselves in that position to begin with.

In a tightly contested affair controlled mostly by Temple, the Owls found themselves trailing by  1 with 1:50 left.  Unlike the final minute of last night’s contest, head coach Aaron McKie dialed up a play for Temple to run in their half court set.  

A couple off ball screens freed up Jake Forrester in the paint which drew in the defense. The sly Forrester spotted his teammate with the hot hand from behind the arc and Moore did not disappoint, giving Temple the lead 45-43. One mismatch in the defense was traded for another, as on the next possession for the Hoosiers, Moore found himself lost on defense and wound up covering Indiana Power forward Derek Elston. 

Elston was able to use his 9 inch advantage on Moore and fade away for an easy game tying two.  Clearly Moore took the shot personally, as Elston’s shotty help defense didn’t stand a chance against the turnaround, free throw line buzzer beater from #0.

When the college basketball season is done and dusted, committee members and fans alike will look back at these games and see three tight knit, neutral court, quality wins.  On the other hand, this basketball season is far from being finished, so tonight, Temple University is the home of champions, riding swiftly on the back of their senior guard.

View the game highlights here: https://youtu.be/fYpCoPecoxg

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