In ESPN’s latest bracketology, Joe Lunardi has Penn State making the NCAA tournament as one of the last four teams in.
— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) January 30, 2023
Lunardi has Penn State, along with Pitt, Kentucky, and Arizona making it in this latest edition. He also has Texas A&M, Nevada, Oklahoma and Wisconsin missing out.
Lunardi’s next four out are Arizona State, Ohio State, Seton Hall and Utah State.
Penn State has important games coming up at home against Wisconsin Feb. 8 and at Maryland Feb. 11. Lunardi has Maryland as one of the last four teams with a bye— meaning it wouldn’t have to play in the First Four— along with Boise State, Memphis and West Virginia.
Penn State will also play another bubble team, Ohio State, Feb. 23 in a game that is critical for both teams. After that game, it hosts Rutgers Feb 26. Rutgers beat Penn State by 20 last week. Penn State then opens March at Northwestern on the month’s first day. Chris Collins’s team is currently in second in the Big Ten. After that, Penn State ends the regular season it will end the season at home against Maryland March 5.
In the more recent future, Penn State plays at No. 1 Purdue Wednesday. Purdue has the top overall seed in Lunardi’s projection. A win at Purdue will go a long way in securing an NCAA tournament bid. Penn State helped itself Sunday with an 81-59 win over Juwan Howard and Michigan at the Bryce Jordan Center.
Penn State hasn’t made the NCAA Tournament since 2011 and hasn’t won a tournament game since 2001. That year, Penn State made it to the Sweet 16 as a No. 7 seed in a mini-Cinderella run highlight by an upset win over second-seeded North Carolina. That run ended against John Cheney’s Temple Owls.