PSU news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

About

Penn State Takes On Hoosiers in First Round of B1G Tourney

Penn State and Indiana have seen each other before this time of year. They will face off in the first round of the Big Ten tournament this afternoon with tip-off scheduled for around 1:55 p.m., marking the third time in four years that the two teams have met in the opening round of conference tournament play.

Unlike the past two March meetings, the circumstances are a bit different this time around. As opposed to 2009 and 2011 when the Nittany Lions were on the bubble of the NCAA tournament and the Hoosiers were at the cellar of the Big Ten, Penn State (12-19, 4-14) enters as the lowest seed while Indiana (24-7, 11-7) enters as the fifteenth ranked team in the country. To put things in perspective, Penn State lost to Kentucky by thirty-eight points earlier in the season. Indiana dealt the number one-ranked Wildcats their only loss on the season three weeks later.

In addition to being the better statistical team, Indiana also has the advantage of playing in their home state. There are likely to be several Hoosier fans in attendance at Bankers Life Fieldhouse as Indianapolis is a short drive from Bloomington as opposed to Penn State’s long trip from State College. It is probable that Indiana disposes of Penn State and moves on to Friday’s game against No. 14 Wisconsin (Full Bracket available here); however, things do not always go according to plan come March. Below are a few reasons why Penn State could potentially pull an upset tomorrow, which should be reason alone to watch:

  • Recent Tournament History– As stated before, these teams know each other well. Penn State defeated Indiana in the first round of conference tournament play in 2009 and again last year. The Hoosiers have yet to win a Big Ten tournament game since Tom Crean took the job in 2008. While this is far and away his best team, a fast start from a Nittany Lions squad that has nothing to lose could make Indiana tighten up.
  • Matchups This Season– In early January, Penn State hung with Indiana throughout the entire game, losing 88-82. Indiana forward Matt Roth who averages 4.7 points on the season scored 22 that day. That is not likely to happen again. Two weeks later, Penn State led Indiana by two at halftime on the road before an awful second half resulted in a nineteen point loss. While they will need to play a close to perfect game to keep things interesting, the Nittany Lions have showed they can hang with Indiana this year.
  • Tim Frazier- Big time players show up in March. Penn State’s do it all junior point guard had a fantastic season but has shot a combined 14-41 in two games against Indiana. That is well below his season average of 42.1% from the field. A more efficient game will help keep Penn State close.
  • Trey Lewis- Lewis was not active for either of Penn State’s two games against Indiana, but he looks to be rounding into form after playing in the final three games. Turn the freshman loose. Maybe he hits a big three pointer at some point.
  • Pat Chambers- It has been, as was expected, an at times frustrating season for the first year coach’s young team, but Chambers has been able to get more out of his guys than most people expected. Aside from a twenty-four point loss to Purdue, Penn State has been competitive over the past month. Expect Chambers to have his team ready to go believing they can pull off an upset.
  • Gus Johnson-Play-by-play announcer Gus Johnson will be calling this game. This is significant for a few reasons, the first being that Gus is all-around awesome. More importantly, the games he broadcasts typically end up going down to the wire. Hopefully this is the case tomorrow. Gus will also not be doing any games once the NCAA tournament begins next week, so this could be one of the final opportunities to hear him this season.

There you have it. Part of that might be a stretch. Penn State has not won a Big Ten game away from the Bryce Jordan Center in almost an entire calendar year. Indiana enters on a four-game winning streak and has four players averaging double figures on the season.

The chance of an upset may be slim, but the great thing about March and college basketball is that chances always exist and upsets happen.

About the Author

Drew Balis

Drew is a senior marketing major. This fall, he will be covering Penn State Football for Onward State. He is a huge Philadelphia sports fan and loves THON and Domonic Brown.

Comments

More by Drew

McGloin Named NFL Rookie of the Week

The former Penn State record setting quarterback took home Pepsi Rookie of the Week honors following his impressive first NFL start that resulted in a 28-23 win for the Oakland Raiders on the road against the Houston Texans.

Will Adrian Amos Play Some Snaps at Linebacker?

Willis and Carson Talk Differences Between Butler and Roof

Athletics

Penn State Women’s Soccer Beats Duquesne 6-0

Emily Ogle, Frankie Tagliaferri, Kerry Abello, Rachel Wasserman, and Kim Dubs scored for the Nittany Lions in Sunday’s lopsided victory.

Shea Moyer Lifts Penn State Women’s Soccer Past West Virginia 1-0

Penn State Women’s Soccer Poised For Strong 2018 Season

Incoming Penn State Track & Field Athlete Kristian Marche Shot To Death In Philadelphia

Former Women’s Gymnastics Coach Files Lawsuit Against Penn State Over Handling Of Abuse Allegations

Student Life

Lisa Salters To Serve As 2018 Homecoming Grand Marshal

The Grand Marshal will be present at many of Homecoming’s events throughout the week and will be featured in the parade Friday night.

Student Body President Cody Heaton Welcomes Class of 2022 At Convocation

Start The Semester Off Right With These Welcome Week Activities

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

Join Onward State: Fall 2018 Application

Onward State is hiring for the fall semester and we’d love to have you join us.

Penn State Officially Welcomes Class Of 2022 At Convocation

The Class of 2022 joined the Penn State family Saturday evening at Convocation.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Assessing Penn State’s Front Seven Following Tuesday’s Medical Retirements

Penn State’s defensive line rotation will be shaken up following Ryan Buchholz’s medical retirement from football, while the coaching staff is letting the linebackers duel it out during camp.

Send this to a friend