Penn State basketball team is NIT-bound
UNIVERSITY PARK – The Penn State men’s basketball team is headed to the NIT.
The Nittany Lions will face cross-state rival Temple in the first round of the National Invitational Tournament at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, March 14, at the Bryce Jordan Center.
The Nittany Lions failed to make the NCAA Tournament when the field was announced on Sunday evening. They are a No. 4 seed in the NIT.
Penn State head coach Patrick Chambers said he was disappointed that the Nittany Lions didn’t make the NCAA field, but the NIT is a nice consolation prize.“Playing in the postseason provides us with an incredible opportunity for our team to continue to develop and get better," said Penn State coach Patrick Chambers, who has directed the Nittany Lions to 21 victories in 2017-18, the third-highest win total in program history. “I'm proud of what our team has accomplished this season. We've made incredible strides and a lot of memories and there's more basketball to be played.”
The Nittany Lions come into the game with a 21-13 record. The Owls, meanwhile, have been up-and-down this season with a 17-15 record.
There is some history between the two teams. In its past two NCAA Tournament appearances, the Owls have eliminated the Nittany Lions.
This is Penn State’s first postseason appearance since the 2013-14 season. It’s Penn State’s first NIT appearance since 2009, when it captured the NIT crown under then head coach Ed DeChellis.
The Nittany Lions are 22-9 all-time in their previous 10 NIT appearances. They are 6-4 in NIT first round games.
The NIT field is strong. In addition to Penn State, other teams playing in the NIT include: Boston College, LSU, Louisville, Marquette, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Saint Mary's, Southern California, Stanford, Utah, and Washington.
Penn State’s game with Temple will air on ESPNU. Steve Jones and Dick Jerardi have the call on the Penn State Sports Network.
The winner of the Penn State-Temple game will face the winner of Tuesday’s Notre Dame-Hampton tilt. The time, date and location for the second round game has not been announced.
Tickets for the NIT game are on sale now. Visit www.ticketmaster.com for details. Tickets range in price from $18-$24, plus ticketing fees.