Tag Archives: You can’t spell Nittany without N-I-T

Penn State men’s basketball traditional best-case scenario for post-season, the National Invitation Tournament. Applicable about every 3 years.

Penn State crushed by #1 Ohio State on senior night

Never a game, No. 1 Ohio State’s 82-61 beatdown of Penn State looks like NCAA crusher for LionsPatriot-News
A real scorcherCDT
A capacity Bryce Jordan Center crowd witnessed the 2010-2011 Penn State Nittany Lions basketball team get blown out by #1 Ohio State. The Buckeyes dominated throughout, winning 82-61. Only a miracle run through the Big Ten Tournament can put PSU in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

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Just accept that Penn State is going to the NIT or nowhere

Once again, Penn State finds itself on the bubble for the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament. I think their bubble is going to burst though, unless they can win out and/or make some noise in the Big Ten Tournament. David Jones spells this out in two separate, but very similar columns – one for CSN Philly: Penn State battling to get Talor in the tourney and the other for the Patriot-News: Penn State must win out for reasonable shot at NCAA tournament. The high RPI, victories and over top 25 teams, plus narrow loses on the road to them and tough schedule overall don’t help unless you can beat Maine or teams like them. So, the Nittany Lions are headed to the NIT — again.

Talor Battle, despite being one of Penn State’s best players ever could find himself in unenviable company — an elite player who never gets to the Big Dance. In comparing Battle to Penn State’s last great player, Joe Crispin, Jones notes that the supporting cast was much stronger around Crispin. That 2001 team had fire and was fearless, something the 2011 version lacks. Battle’s plight is just the way it goes at Penn State — a rare strong player doesn’t get much help and has to will himself and the team into tourney contention his senior year. Battle’s plight can only be a warning sign to future players.

Only 3 games, plus at least one Big Ten tournament game, remain for the Nittany Lions. They play Northwestern at 9:00 p.m. tomorrow night on ESPN2 (it seems they traditionally face each other on ESPN2, so the network can get their obligation to televise each at least once out of the way) in Evanston. On Tuesday, they host #2/3 Ohio State at home for another 9:00 p.m. tip on Big Ten Network. Back in January, the Buckeyes had to squeak past Nittany Lions, 69-66 and I do recall storming the court after PSU upset a top 10 OSU team when I was a student. So, a win then wouldn’t be unprecedented, well okay it is but I’m trying to find some reason for hope. Oh and Greek students get in for $1. Independent students, who don’t need to make a t-shirt with ancient letters on it every time they host a party, have to pay the full rate because at Penn State groupthink > independent thought. Sigh. I’ll email Intercollegiate Athletics, Graham Spainer, etc. and suggest they revise that policy and I hope you do the same.

The final game of the year is at Minnesota, whom Penn State beat earlier in the season.

In other Nittany Lions basketball news, Chris from Slow States has a great post about the stepchild status of the basketball program. Nothing that we don’t already know, but Chris has a passion for Penn State basketball matched by few. Must be a Hazleton thing.

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Bryce Jordan Center isn’t much of a home for Penn State basketball

DAVID JONES – No comforts of home for hot Nittany Lions or their growing fan base at badly run Jordan CenterPatriot-News
Jones writes about how the Bryce Jordan Center treats Penn State basketball as just another tenant. He’s correct that basketball could never be the focus of the arena, but argues it could be much more accommodating to the Nittany Lions, Lady Lions and their fans. Joe Crispin even tweeted about it.

As always, I’m curious what the Maryland Bureau Chief thinks of the situation and Jones’ take on it.

By the way, after their flight was diverted hundreds of miles away from Urbana-Champaign due to this big blizzard (that missed D.C.), the Nittany Lions fell to Illinois last night (The Collegian) after busing over in the morning. Not a terrible lose, but they could have used a win. I maintain they are NIT-bound unless they get a miracle.

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Penn State beats #17 Wisconsin in basketball

People are starting to believe in Penn State men’s basketball.

Yesterday, over 14,000 people watched the Nittany Lions beat the Badgers, 56-52, for the frist time with Ed DeChellis as coach. It took 12 tries over 8 seasons.

Penn State is very tough to play against right now, beating 3 ranked opponents and coming close against #1 Ohio State and #15 Purdue on the road. They are very much in the mix for a NCAA tournament berth, but my prediction is the same as the one I got texted from the Maryland Bureau CHief this weekend: “you can’t spell Nittany without N-I-T.”

I think the Lions will get stuck in the “last four out” scenario they were in 2 years ago. The flame out in the non-conference schedule that included a loss to MAINE is probably too much to overcome unless they do really well in the Big Ten tournament or beat Ohio State in the rematch. In other words — just good enough to break your heart.

Nittany Lions return from oblivion, top Badgers 56-52Patriot News

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