Penn State basketball stuns #4 Michigan, UM waves goodbye to #1 seed


What a victory this is for Penn State basketball. This ranks up their with all the other great Penn State basketball triumphs like….uh….umm…..gimme a second here….uhm……oh, when Talor Battle led Penn State basketball to the Big Ten Tournament title game in 2011 with a semifinal victory. And didn’t the Crispin brothers or something upset North Carolina to reach the sweet sixteen one year?

Anyway, in getting their first conference win in 15 tries, Penn State basketball just crushed the Michigan Wolverines hopes of grabbing a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. This is a big RPI killer and a very bad loss.

Penn State (9-18, 1-14 Big Ten) shot 53 percent in the second half to record its first Big Ten win of the year handing Michigan (23-5, 10-5 Big Ten) just its fifth loss of the season. The win marked the third time in program history the Nittany Lions defeated a team ranked No. 4 or higher and the highest ranked opponent Penn State has beaten since knocking off No. 2/3 Michigan State in the 2001 Big Ten Tournament.

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#102 Penn State Nittany Lions: College Basketball 111 in 111

penn state basketball

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series.  Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.

We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

While the football program has been at the center of the national media surrounding the Jerry Sandusky scandal and cover up, the Penn State Nittany Lions basketball program remains in the shadows at not-so Happy Valley.  A year after making the NCAA Tournament, PSU returned to their normal home; the cellar of the Big Ten.  Don’t expect much to change this year either.

Click here for The Sports Bank’s Penn State football preview.

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Wolverines Win Share of Big Ten Title

Photo Courtesy AP Photo

Michigan shot 59 percent from the field, including 70 percent in the first half to overcome a valiant effort from Big Ten bottom dweller Penn State in a 70-66 victory. Trey Burke led the Wolverines with 19 points, but perhaps the most encouraging stat from Sunday’s victory was the scoring total of sophomore big man Evan Smotrycz. Smotrycz shot 6-7 from the field to finish with 17 points, his most in conference play this season.

The win won’t do much for Michigan’s already-impressive NCAA Tournament resume, but it did keep the Wolverines in play for a possible share of the conference title. John Beilein’s squad would learn of its fate later in the day, when Ohio State faced Michigan State on the road in a battle for Big Ten supremacy.

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Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. Combine for 56 points in Win at Illinois

tim hardaway

If there were any fears that Michigan–after being dominated at home by Purdue on Saturday–had witnessed the end of its three-week long hot streak, you can put those to rest now. The Wolverines followed that clunker against the Boilermakers with a dominant performance against Illinois Thursday night, a 72-61 beatdown at Assembly Hall. The victory is Michigan’s first in Champagne since 1995.

It was a tale of two halves for the Wolverines, and the first belonged to point guard Trey Burke. The freshman simply couldn’t miss in the opening period, going 6-7 from the field–including 4-4 on three-point tries–and finishing with 14 points.

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College Basketball 111 in 111: #109 Penn State Nittany Lions

penn state fans

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series.  Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days.  We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

It cannot be a positive sign for your program when your head coach, an alma mater of your university, leaves a major conference team to take a job in the Patriot League.  That is one of the challenges the Penn State Nittany Lions, who comes in at #107 in our “111 in 111,” faces this season as well as losing the heart and soul of their team in Talor Battle.

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Penn State Basketball Finds its New Head Coach: Patrick Chambers

psu cheerleader

PSU hoops has found it’s replacement for Ed DeChellis. The new man to lead Happy Valley college basketball is Patrick Chambers, who last season led Boston University to its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2002. He was named the 12th head coach in Nittany Lion Basketball history, Penn State Director of Athletics Tim Curley announced today.

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Ohio State 71, Penn St. 60: BTT Championship Rapid Reaction

The surprising Penn State Nittany Lions stuck around for as long as they could, but the #1 Ohio State Buckeyes proved to be too much to handle in a 71-60 win for their third Big Ten Tournament Championship in the last five years.

William Buford led the way with 18 for the Buckeyes and Talor Battle paced the Nittany Lions with 24 points on 9-of-20 shooting.

By: Nick Grays

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Is Penn State in NCAA Tournament with Michigan St. Win?

Talor Battle

When it comes to great college basketball players that have never played in the NCAA Tournament, Penn State Nittany Lions senior point guard Talor Battle has to be considered at the very top of the the list.

Many people often consider Ernie “Mr. Cub” Banks to be the best player in MLB history never to have played in the postseason. He won the NL MVP award with some really terrible Cubs teams in the 1950s. And Battle is kind of like the Big Ten basketball version- in some ways.

But with the 61-48 Big Ten Tournament semifinal win over Michigan State , this comparison likely won’t hold true anymore. It appears PSU has punched their ticket.

By Paul M. Banks

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Penn State 61, Michigan State 48: BTT Semis Rapid Reaction

tom izzo michigan state

And there was two as the Penn State Nittany Lions shocked the Michigan State Spartans with a 61-48 win in the Big Ten Tournament Semi-Finals.

Talor Battle went for a game-high 25 points to help Penn State advance to the Big Ten Championship where they will meet the #1 Ohio State Buckeyes on Sunday.

By: Nick Grays

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Talor Battle Becomes PSU All-Time Scorer, Moves Team up Bubble

Penn State Basketball

In Penn State’s Big Ten Tournament game last night, PSU senior point guard Talor Battle hit the biggest shot of his life. Inside two minutes to go, Battle hit a big three that put Penn St up 35-30 over the Wisconsin Badgers. It ended up being the decisive margin of victory as State held on 36-33, and found themselves with another signature win over #13 Wisconsin.

The shot also made Battle the all-time leading scorer in PSU history with 2,140 points. So just how big of a shot was it?

By Paul M. Banks

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Is Penn State Going to Make the NCAA Tournament?

penn state cheerleader

It’s certainly a bubblicious time of the year in college basketball; and it’s only going to get more bubbly from here. When you first glance at Penn State, you may wonder how their 15-12, 8-8 in the Big Ten record gets them placed on the dance card.

Look closer and you’ll see a phenomenal #6 strength of schedule and a decent #53 RPI.

“That’s the most important thing to me, when I leave I want to say that I had the opportunity to play in the NCAA Tournament, see what it feels like. That would be the greatest achievement,” said PSU senior guard Talor Battle, following a decisive win at Northwestern.

By Paul M. Banks

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Talor Battle’s Accomplishment Unique to Big Ten Basketball

Penn State Basketball

Penn State guard and Big Ten leading scorer Talor Battle headed to Northwestern needing just three assists to reach 500 on his career. He got exactly three as his Nittany Lions soundly defeated Northwestern 66-52. With the 500 assists under his belt, he becomes the first player to record 2,000 points, 500 rebounds and 500 assists in Big Ten history.

Only nine others in Division I college basketball history have reached this feat; they are: Danny Ainge, Speedy Claxton, Johnny Dawkins, Danny Ferry, Ron Lee, Jameer Nelson, Tim Smith, Chris Thomas and Grevis Vasquez.

“It’s a milestone, and a great feeling…and when I look back over it, after I’m done playing it will mean more to me. But right now I’m just focused on getting some big wins to push for postseason play, and that’s my main focus,” said Battle after the game.

By Paul M. Banks

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