h: Power Ranking Penn State Hoops’ Recent Flaming Bus Moments
Penn State hoops sank further and further into the abyss this weekend after somehow handing Rutgers its second Big Ten road win since it joined the conference — two years after the Nittany Lions gifted the Scarlet Knights their first.
Getting off to an 0-9 start in Big Ten play, there’s only one thing Penn State fans have left to say: h.
The famed 2015 tweet has since been deleted (probably after fans sought out to retweet it following one of last year’s infuriating defeats), but its curse over this program lives on.
In many cases, you don’t even have to watch these games. Just open Twitter and one letter can describe all you need to know.
Penn State men’s basketball has seemingly always been a flaming bus, but since “h” hit our Twitter feeds, it’s almost like the Nittany Lions have taken mediocrity to a new level. With that, we decided to power rank the most h moments after that fateful January 2015 night.
With D.J. Newbill’s Herculean efforts, the Nittany Lions put themselves in position to pull off their first win over the mighty Spartans (on the road, no less) since 2011.
It wasn’t meant to be, though. Down the stretch, Pat Chambers received a technical foul, Newbill turned the ball over a few times, and the “h” tweet was born amidst the chaos.
A win on the road in Bloomington would’ve been something to be proud of, but you can file this one in the “Penn State can’t close out games” category.
The Nittany Lions held the lead heading into the final possession of both the second half and overtime, but couldn’t stop the Hoosiers one last time to grab the win (they wouldn’t have even had to stop them in overtime if it wasn’t for missed free throws). Penn State just held on to force a third overtime before getting effectively taken out in those final five minutes.
The Scarlet Knights are 2-2 at the Bryce Jordan Center since joining the Big Ten in 2014. In five other seasons in the conference, they haven’t won another road game — going a whopping 0-35.
Penn State blew opportunities during the February 2017 clash and fell into an ugly fluke result, but Saturday’s monstrosity just makes you think — have the Nittany Lions really slipped so far this year that the worst of the Power Five can downright outplay them on their home floor?
Some of these h-esque losses have come against extremely talented teams. It’s less about losing these games, and much more about the way that the Nittany Lions lost these games.
Imagine holding a double-digit second half lead against the No. 4 ranked team in the nation. And then it evaporates to nothing in the span of two minutes.
That happens. You expect Maryland to run away with the game at that point.
Strangely enough, that’s not where this story is going. The Nittany Lions proceed to control the game after losing the lead and go up once again by as many as 13 points with six minutes to go.
And somehow, some way, that lead goes away in all of two minutes. This time, they weren’t getting it back.
Death, taxes, and Penn State losing to a school that the vast majority of the population has never heard of.
The Nittany Lions led most of the game, but never really put Rider away, and it sure as hell came back to bite them in the ass as Rider drained a game-winning three at the buzzer.
One day I’ll be old and senile. My brain will have deteriorated. But you can still come up to me and say “h,” and my mind will immediately shoot back to the jubilant mid-major players storming the floor after taking down a Penn State side with enough talent to make an NCAA Tournament if it wouldn’t have choked so many games away like this.
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About the Author
Kotelnicki’s hiring was first reported Thursday afternoon.
The Nittany Lions survived a late Minnesota comeback attempt to split the series.