Penn State Basketball With a Side Dish of Free Hat

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The 14th annual ACC-Big Ten Challenge kicked off last night with some marquee match-ups between the elite from the ACC and Big Ten — conferences widely considered to be the best in the country. Tonight at the Bryce Jordan Center, Penn State will look to do its part to prove that the Big Ten is the best college basketball conference in the country.

For the second straight year, the Nittany Lions (3-2) will square off with Boston College (2-4) in the Challenge, a team they defeated 62-54 on the road last fall. The game begins at 9:15 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPNU.

Penn State is playing without All-Big Ten point guard Tim Frazier, who is out for the season after rupturing his achilles tendon against Akron in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off tournament. Despite the loss of their best player, Penn State shot 65 percent from the field in the second half and managed to knock off previously unbeaten Bucknell last Friday at the BJC behind strong efforts from junior guard Jermaine Marshall (17 points) and freshman forward Brandon Taylor (16 points).

Boston College is struggling in their third year under Steve Donahue and is coming off an embarrassing loss to Bryant College, a team that went 2-28 last year. With BC’s struggles and Penn State’s momentum coming off the Bucknell game, the Lions are the clear favorite in this matchup.

Most importantly for students, this game marks the first of many great promotions to come from the basketball marketing department this year. The free snapback hat was a hit last year, so this year there will be three separate brotastic snapback giveaways.

@Nittany_Nation tweeted a preview of the hat that will be given away while supplies last. They look pretty snazzy, if I do say so myself.

Nittany Nation will also be selling tickets today in the HUB from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., but you can always buy them at the BJC ticket window for the reasonable cost of $5.
I’ve given you reasons in the past to be excited about the Penn State basketball team, but if you still don’t care about that, you can heed the wise words of Eric Cartman: “If you offer a free hat maybe people will show up.”

Photo By: Steve Osborn

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Sam is a senior originally from Newtown, PA who majors in print journalism and is a member of the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism. His athletic peak was age 11 so he decided to grow a beard and write about sports instead.

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