Ohio State Rolls Into Happy Valley on Senior Night
The Nittany Lions will take to the Bryce Jordan Center one last time this season (until they host a home game in the NIT, that is) on Tuesday night for Senior Night. Jared Sullinger and the number-one ranked Ohio State Buckeyes come to Happy Valley looking to secure a top seed in both the Big Ten Tournament next week and the Big Dance. But why should you make your way to the BJC at 9:00 p.m. on Tuesday to cheer the flawed DeChellis regime? Here are some reasons:
1. Talor Battle
Is there a bigger tragic figure this year in the world of college basketball? Talor became only the tenth player in Division I history to score 2,000 points, drop 500 dimes and pull down 500 rebounds in his career and yet he has never played in a NCAA Tournament game. Sure, he won the NIT Championship back in 2009, but being the best player on the 66th-best team in the nation never really appealed to Battle. This kid has played his heart out for this university over the past four years and if he can’t make it to the Dance, sending him off to a curtain call in front of a packed Bryce Jordan Center would be the next best thing.
2. The other seniors
Yes, there are four other seniors on the team worth sending off in grand fashion. The heart and soul of this year over the past couple years has not been Battle, but rather David Jackson. Jackson has played more games as a Nittany Lion than any who came before him and has been the fire to keep this team going throughout his time here. Andrew Jones and Jeff Brooks have both enjoyed the senior seasons they had dreamed about since they step foot in Happy Valley (too bad it took them until this year to live up to all of that potential). Finally, veteran Steve Kirkpatrick, who scored the first points of his career last week against Minnesota, has been the ultimate team player, never seeing many minutes of game action, but always hustling in practice to try and make sure this team did great things.
3. That last postseason push
Penn State is scrambling to creep back onto the NCAA Tournament bubble to give this senior class that trip to the Dance that they have been dreaming about for four years. As of right now, they are out, but if they can beat the top team in the nation, beat Minnesota this coming weekend and get a win or two in the Big Ten Tournament next week, the selection committee will have to take note and will have a hard time keeping this team from playing in March Madness.
4. It’s the Tuesday before spring break
Like you’re really focused on anything having to do with academics this week anyway.