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Penn State Men’s Basketball Game No. 31– Purdue Part III

Penn State Basketball Player John Harrar
Photo from Penn State Twitter (USA Today): John Harrar

As Yogi Berra once said, it’s deja vu all over again.

In 2018, Penn State beat Ohio State in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal to advance to the semis and play Purdue. That year’s conference tournament run ended in the semifinals against the Boilermakers, and this year’s Nittany Lion squad hopes for a better result against Purdue and another berth in the semis.

Things are a lot different now than they were then. That year’s Penn State team was, record wise, superior to this years one and ended up winning the NIT championship weeks later. Pat Chambers was still the head coach, and current boss Micah Shrewsberry was an assistant with the Boston Celtics in between stints on Matt Painter’s staff at Purdue.

One thing that’s hasn’t changed much over the years is Painter’s team. Sure, the names and faces are different now than they were four years ago, but the same quality product is still in West Lafayette and the current Boilers squad lives up to the “time to play hard” mantra instilled by Painter’s predecessor, Gene Keady. The third-seeded Boilermakers finished the regular-season with a 25-6 overall record and 14-6 conference mark, and are just now opening their Big Ten tournament after earning a double-bye. One of those 25 wins came at Penn State Jan. 8.

Purdue has four players scoring in double-figures, led by Jaden Ivey, who averages 17.2 points per game. 7-foot-4 center Zach Edey averages 14.7 points and 7.6 rebounds a night and 6-foot-10 forward Trevion Williams chips in 11.6. Senior guard Sasha Stefanovic (11.4 PPG) is another key contributor.

The winner of this game will take on the winner of Wisconsin-Michigan State, which will take place at 6:30. Penn State-Purdue will tip off at approximately 9 p.m. on the Big Ten Network and can also be seen on the Fox Sports App or  the Fox Sports website. Penn State who can’t watch the game can listen to Steve Jones and Dick Jerardi on any of these affiliates.

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