Penn State Prepares for First NCAA Tournament Game in a Decade

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Everyone knows that Nittany Nation is much more a college football republic than it is college basketball country. And the difference is quite extreme. But maybe this is a start of something new for the Penn State Nittany Lions?

#10 seeded State (19-14; 9-9 Big Ten) will face a very familiar foe Thursday when the Nittany Lions take on #7 seed and in-state rival Temple in Tucson, AZ, tipping at 2:10 (ET) on TNT. PSU has lost to Temple in two of the last three seasons.

Penn State played its last NCAA Tournament game against Temple, losing 84-72 in the 2001 NCAA Sweet Sixteen. The winner of the Penn State-Temple contest will face the winner of #2 seed San Diego State vs. #15 Northern Colorado, on Saturday at the University of Arizona’s McKale Center.

PSU won their most recent meetings with Temple in football, can they do it in basketball?

By Paul M. Banks

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Big Ten Tournament: Notes, Quotes and Nuggets

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Another Big Ten Tournament will soon be entirely in the books, and with it 7 NCAA Tournament bids from the conference. Yes 7! And the only way that could have happened is…with the exact scenarios that did transpire.

The final college basketball tournament bracket S-Curve, what Joe Lunardi uses for bracketology, has that Big Ten muddled mush of middle (Illinois Fighting Illini, Michigan Wolverines, Michigan State Spartans and Penn State Nittany Lions) all in the mid 40s when it comes to their overall seed.

-No clear favorite for BTT MOP, but candidates include Talor Battle, Juice Thompson and Jared Sullinger. Juice is only on that list because he set a tourney record with 35 points on Thursday.

-Please use these hashtags today #PennState #BigTenTourney #TalorBattleforWoodenAward #TalorBattleforNaismithAward

By Paul M. Banks

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Talor Battle Pretty Much is Penn State Basketball

By Paul M. Banks

Battle has played every minute but three in big ten play, and currently leads the Nittany Lions in scoring, rebounding, assists, minutes, and steals. “Guys have been keying in on me defensively, I heard Bruce Weber all game yelling wherever I was at, I felt like he was guarding me,” Battle told me following a 54-53 loss to the Illini.

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Talor Battle and Evan Turner: BFFs

By Paul M. Banks

The Big Ten’s talent is concentrated at the point guard position, junior class. And two of the most talented guys who fit in at both categories (Ohio State’s Evan Turner and Penn State’s Talor Battle) also happen to be very good friends. [Read more…]