DAYTON, Ohio — This is where it ends for N.C. State, on the corner of disappointment and despair in Dayton.
A season that started with so much hope lasted only one NCAA tournament game. Temple, with 31 points from Khalif Wyatt, turned out the lights on N.C. State's season with a 76-72 win in the round of 64 on Friday afternoon.
There was no ACC title, as was predicted before the season started, nor was there another NCAA run for the Wolfpack (24-11), only season of missed opportunities.
The Sweet 16 finish from last March never seemed so far away on Friday while Temple was creating turnovers, burying shots and building a 16-point halftime lead.
N.C. State got 20 points from junior forward C.J. Leslie, in perhaps his last college game, but not enough help from its other veterans.
Senior Scott Wood came alive at the end of the game, hitting consecutive 3-pointers, to get as close as three points in the final minute, but Temple made just enough free throws to advance to the next round.
The first half was a mixed bag of problems for N.C. State — indifference on defense, careless ballhandling and poor free-throw shooting.
The Owls (24-9) did just about everything right with Wyatt and forward Jake O'Brien (18 points) turning the Wolfpack mistakes into points.
Temple led by as many as 18 points in the second half. N.C. State cut the Owls' margin to three points, but could not complete the comeback.