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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Recap: Penn State’s NIT Championship


Lions prevail in NIT finalsThe Collegian
Senior wills Lions to titleThe Collegian
Cornley finishes career ‘satisfied’The Collegian
PSU WINS NIT; Cornley wins MVPCDT
Cornley leads Penn State to NIT tournament titleAP/CDT
DAVID JONES – Cornley leaves with legacy as championPatriot-News
Penn State won its first postseason men’s basketball tournament last night, defeating Baylor 69-63 to win the NIT. Senior Jamelle Cornley is the biggest hero, winning MVP despite playing with a busted shoulder. A bleeding Danny Morrissey also made sure Penn State was not denied.

The win is a validation for Ed DeChellis who has struggled to put his alma mater on the college basketball map. The 27 wins this year were a school record.

Buie verbals to PSU following winThe Collegian
Talor Battle‘s half brother Taran Buie committed to Penn State yesterday. The New York product has another year of high school left. They should play together for one season — it’ll be like the Crispin brothers 2.0!

JoePa cheers on Penn St. hoops, waxes about NYCAP/CDT
Joe Paterno was at both games in Madison Square Garden this week. He apparently spent a lot of time reminiscing about playing basketball during his youth in Brooklyn. Here is clip from the semi-final:

He is so old.

Okay, let’s say it one more time

You can’t spell Nittany without N-I-T!

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NIT Final preview: Penn State vs. Baylor; Dave Jones a homer

Lions battle for NIT crownThe Collegian
The last dance:Rolling Lions hope to cap off season tonight with NIT titleCDT
Baylor (24-14) vs. Penn State (26-11)CDT
Bears battle Nittany Lions for NIT crownCDT
Game previews — Baylor has great athletes, but Penn State has smart players seems to be the theme. The Baylor players also have not shot each other (AP/USA Today) in several years.

Fans snatch up NIT ticketThe Colleigan
Students bought 2,000 tickets for tonight’s game. Perhaps they can start buying that many for regular season home games. They are filling up 25 of the 33 buses going to the game too. The Nittany Lions will have a real home court advantage.

DAVID JONESLast time to enjoy LionsPatriot-News
Jones comes clean:

I’ve said this before: I violate the journalist’s creed when it comes to Penn State men’s basketball because I’m a homer. This is the 20th season I’ve covered this program. There are a few people who’ve been involved longer with PSU hoops, but not many. I can think of assistant athletic director Dave Baker, play-by-play man Steve Jones, FightOnState.com editor Mark Brennan and maybe PSU basketball office secretary Pam Byron. I think that’s it.

I like to see the team do well. That’s because people such as Bruce Parkhill, Jerry Dunn and Ed DeChellis have recruited almost exclusively great kids with big hearts, real smiles and stories to tell. It makes you want to root for them when you get to know them a little.

I disagree with him about Steve Jones, but overall the column a great read.

Game time is 7 p.m. on ESPN.

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Penn State beats Notre Dame, moves on to NIT final

Lions drop Irish, move on in NITThe Collegian
Lions excel under bright lightsThe Collegian
PSU fans absorb Garden experienceThe Collegian
Recap: Penn State vs. Notre DameCDT
PENN STATE ADVANCES TO NIT FINALCDT
Nittany Lions claw past Notre Dame into NIT finalsPatriot-News
Penn State, with the Madison Square Garden crowd behind them, beat Notre Dame, 67-59. The Nittany Lions advance to the NIT final Thursday night against Baylor. That is all I have time to write about this morning because somebody is waking up.

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NIT semi-finals: Penn State vs. Notre Dame at 9 p.m. on ESPN2

Penn State enjoying sightsThe Collegian
Harangody provides challengeThe Collegian
Lions looking to make Garden magicCDT
DAVID JONESND basketball in comfort zonePatriot-News
Notre Dame (21-14) vs. Penn State (25-11)CDT
After a long and hopefully helpful rest, the Nittany Lions are back on the hardwood tonight at New York’s Madison Square Garden for the NIT semi-finals. They have not been since 2000, losing to tonight’s opponent Notre Dame in same round. The next year, Penn State made a Sweet 16 run in the NCAA tournament.

The Nittany Lions better not be in awe of Madison Square Garden because Notre Dame, a member of the Big East, is quite familiar with it — this year the Fighting Irish played there three times. Penn State did win in hostile Florida and I don’t expect the Garden crowd to favor either team overwhelmingly, so there is hope there.

And they’re off for New YorkCDT
Twelve buses full of Penn State fans left for New York at noon today from the Bryce Jordan Center. I took that trip twice and had fun both times. It s shame we don’t have a railroad in Happy Valley, that would be even better.

Video from PennLive.com:

Penn State basketball coach Ed DeChellis

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NIT: Penn State vs. Notre Dame next Tuesday

Next Tuesday, Penn State will face Notre Dame (ESPN) in a rematch of the 2000 NIT semi-finals. I was there that night at and let’s say it was more disappointing than the 1998 NIT semi-finals which I also attended.

Tip-off is 9 p.m. I am pretty sure ESPN has the coverage. I posted details about tickets last night.

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