Sport

Men's Basketball team to face Temple in National Invitation Tournament

Men's Basketball team to face Temple in National Invitation Tournament

Higher seeded teams host games until the semifinals and finals which will be March 27 and 29 at Madison Square Garden.

Big Ten fans were treated to two fantastic semifinal games Saturday night. The Owls also have two third-place finishes, the first in 1957 and more recently in 2002.

Temple last appeared in the NCAA Tournament in 2016, where they lost in the first round to the Iowa Hawkeyes. The NIT Selection Committee grants automatic bids to any NCAA teams that were regular-season champions that didn't make it to the NCAA Tournament, and then the rest of the field is filled out with teams whose overall records and strength of schedule merit an invitation.

Temple (17-15) at Penn State (21-13), 8 p.m. The Owls held off Tulane, 82-77 for a win in the AAC First Round. Statistically, Penn State has the defensive edge as well; forward Mike Watkins' 8.9 rebounds per game eclipses the 5.8 rebounds per game by Temple's Obi Enechionyia. With three assists vs. Tulane on March 8, senior Josh Brown (team-best 3.3 apg) moved into the Top 10 all-time at Temple in career assists, now standing in 10th place with 382.

-Penn State sees its five-game winning-streak snapped as well as its five-game Big Ten Tournament winning-streak as they fall to 7-4 all-time in the tournament.




The Nittany Lions will nearly certainly make the NCAA Tournament, with the Pairwise Probability Matrix giving them a 99.8% chance of making it before Saturday's game. Penn State's last postseason appearance was in the CBI in 2014, when they went 1-1, losing in the quarterfinals.

During the preseason, the Irish defeated Wichita State, who earned a No. 4 seed in the 2018 NCAA Tournament. Still, when everything was clicking, the Nittany Lions showed they could be a very unsafe team.

-The Irish opened the scoring as Jordan Gross flicked a shot on net from the blueline that fluttered through a screen and under the blocker of Penn State sophomore goaltender Peyton Jones (Langhorne, Pa.) for the 1-0 lead at 6:18 of the first period.

Tony Carr leads the way for the Nittany Lions on 19.9 PPG this year, and Lamar Stevens has 14.9 PPG.


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