AP Basketball Writer
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- On the way out of the Atlantic 10, Temple looked ready to take one more trophy as a keepsake.
Khalif Wyatt scored 30 points and Jake O'Brien had 19, and the Owls beat No. 21 VCU 84-76 on Sunday after rallying from a big first-half deficit.
The Owls (23-8, 11-5 A-10) flipped a 16-point hole into a 17-point lead and clinched the No. 3 seed in the conference tournament.
"We didn't panic," Wyatt said. "We just stayed under control and tried to control the pace of the game."
Wyatt made another strong case for A-10 player of the year honors while denying the Rams a conference title. With a win, VCU (24-7, 12-4) would have shared the A-10 crown with Saint Louis. VCU is the No. 2 seed.
Temple and VCU each earned first-round byes and will open play at the Barclays Center on Friday.
The Owls won their 376th regular-season game in the Atlantic 10 dating to the 1982-83 season. They're joining the football-playing members of the Big East.
Before they go, they have a nice parting gift in mind -- winning perhaps the deepest A-10 tourney in history.
"Hopefully, we can stick together and continue to play good basketball," Wyatt said.
O'Brien rallied the Owls back from the big first-half hole with clutch 3-pointers in transition that propelled them toward their seventh straight win. O'Brien tied the game at 46-46 on a 3, then gave the Owls the lead for good with another 3 to go up 51-48 with less than 15 minutes left.
The Owls took off from there, thrilling a sellout crowd of 10,206 with tough buckets inside, while O'Brien led the surge from outside. With Philadelphia 76ers general manager Tony DiLeo watching from press row, son T.J. DiLeo stretched the lead with two straight layups.
Temple built some needed breathing room in the span of about 10 seconds. Scootie Randall hit a 3-pointer, the Owls stole the inbound pass, and Wyatt hit a 3 off the quick turnover for a 68-56 lead with about 6
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