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Micah Shrewsberry, Penn State Open as 2.5-Point Underdogs to Texas A&M

Micah Shrewsberry, Penn State Basketball
Penn State Nittany Lions head coach Micah Shrewsberry January 21, 2023 David Hague/NSN

CHICAGO — The NCAA Selection Committee labeled coach Micah Shrewsberry and Penn State an underdog against Texas A&M. The sportsbooks feel the same.

Penn State opened as a 2.5-point underdog to the Aggies, who finished second in the SEC. Penn State is +128 on FanDuel. That suggests the line might soon go to three points for this first-round NCAA  Tournament matchup.

Penn State has never beaten Texas A&M, having last played the Aggies in 2017. The schools have met four times overall, and only once since Texas A&M joined the SEC in 2013. Penn State’s covered in seven straight games as the underdog.

The total opened is 134.5. Penn State went over that twice in the Big Ten tournament but went under it twice more. The team was an underdog in all four of its tournament games but won three of them outright and covered the spread in its loss to Purdue in the championship game.

Both schools played on Selection Sunday in their conference championship games and fell to eventual No. 1 seeds.

Penn State’s valiant comeback effort fell shot against Purdue and the team lost the Big Ten Championship game, 67-65. A&M lost to Alabama, 82-63. Despite the losses, both teams enter the tournament with momentum on their side. Micah Shrewsberry and Penn State has won eight of its last 10 games dating back to the regular season, and A&M has won 11 of 13.

Also in Des Moines, No. 1 Kansas will take on No. 16 Howard at 2 ET, No. 9 Illinois will take on No. 8 Arkansas at 4:30 and No. 2 Texas will take on No. 15 Colgate at 7:25. If Penn State wins, it will likely play Texas Saturday. Penn State hasn’t won an NCAA Tournament game since 2001, when it got to the Sweet 16 as a 10 seed.

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