The Temple Owls men's basketball team represents Temple University in the sport of basketball. The Owls compete in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I as a member of the American Athletic Conference (The American). They play their home games in the Liacouras Center on the university's main campus in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and are currently led by head coach Fran Dunphy. Temple is the fifth-most winningest NCAA Division I men's college basketball program of all time, with 1886 wins at the end of the 2016-17 season.
On March 7, 2012, the Temple Owls announced that they would be rejoining the Big East Conference for all sports in 2013, with the Owls football team membership beginning in the 2012 season. Before Temple became an all-sports member of the Big East, the conference split along football lines. The league's non-FBS football schools formed a new Big East in 2013, while Temple's new conference renamed itself the American Athletic Conference.
The Temple Owls became the first National Invitation Tournament (NIT) champions in 1938, one year before the inception of the NCAA Tournament. The Owls were retroactively recognized by the Premo-Porretta Power Poll and the Helms Athletic Foundation as the national champion for the 1937–38 season. Temple again won the NIT championship in 1969.
During the 1950s, the Temple basketball team made two NCAA Final Four appearances in (1956, 1958) under legendary Head Coach Harry Litwack. Litwack would be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame after concluding a 21-year coaching career that included 373 wins.
Head Coach John Chaney, also a Hall of Famer, won a total of 741 career games (312 losses) and took Temple to the NCAA tournament 17 times. His 1987-88 Owls team entered the NCAA tournament ranked #1 in the country, and he reached the Elite Eight on five different occasions. He was consensus National Coach of the Year in 1988.
On April 10, 2006, University of Pennsylvania head coach and La Salle University alumnus Fran Dunphy was named the new Temple's Men's Head Basketball coach. Dunphy had coached the Quakers for 17 straight seasons prior to the move. Dunphy and his Owls won the Atlantic-10 tournament in 2008 and 2009. Dunphy's 2009-2010 team went into the A10 tournament as its regular season champions sharing the title with Xavier. The '09-'10 team has been Dunphy's most successful yet, ranked #12/#13 going into the NCAA tournament after being ranked in the top twenty-five for thirteen straight weeks in both the AP and ESPN polls.
Players Mark Macon, Juan Ignacio Sanchez, Eddie Jones, Lavoy Allen, Aaron McKie, Tim Perry and Mardy Collins are just a few who have gone on to play in the NBA.
As a member of the Big 5, the Owls have long-standing rivalries with Villanova University, University of Pennsylvania, Saint Joseph's University, and La Salle University. The Owls have the most Big 5 titles to date, with 27. However, they have not won an outright Big 5 title since the 2000-01 season. The Owls won their most recent Big 5 title in 2012-13, going 3-1 in Big 5 play and splitting the title with La Salle. During Big 5 games, the Temple student section unfurls long banners about the opposing team, which has been a Big 5 trademark for Temple. Other rivals include Drexel University, University of Cincinnati and University of Connecticut. Temple is in the American Athletic Conference with both Cincinnati and UConn and play them regularly in the regular season.
The following is a list of Temple Owls men's basketball seasons, with records and notable accomplishments.
The Owls have appeared in the NCAA Tournament 32 times. Their combined record is 33–32.
The Owls have appeared in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) 18 times. Their combined record is 23–16. They are two time NIT champions (1938, 1969).