Penn State wasn’t invited to the Big Dance — but the Nittany Lions are headed toward the next best thing.
For the first time since 2009, Penn State will play in the National Invitation Tournament.
After expectedly missing the NCAA tournament — Penn State was barely on the bubble — the Nittany Lions host Temple as a No. 4 seed.
The first-round matchup between the Nittany Lions (21-13, 9-9 Big Ten) and Temple (17-15, 8-10 A-10) tips at the Bryce Jordan Center. The time and date has yet to be announced. Should Penn State get past the Owls, it would play the winner of Notre Dame and Hampton.
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This is the first time in Penn State coach Patrick Chambers’ tenure that the Nittany Lions are playing in the NIT and just the second time they’ve seen the postseason (2014 CBI).
Penn State might be a tad disappointed to be passed over by the NCAA tournament selection committee. “We want to make the tournament,” first-team All-Big Ten guard Tony Carr said after last weekend’s 78-70 loss to Purdue, the final nail in Penn State’s tourney coffin. “That’s what you play the season for.”
Despite missing out on March Madness, Carr and the Nittany Lions still have a trophy to get after, a trophy Penn State won in 2009.
That hunt begins against Temple.
Stay tuned for an updated story later this evening with reactions from Penn State coach Patrick Chambers.