Penn State basketball received 11 votes in the final AP Poll before the NCAA Tournament, which was released Monday.
POLL ALERT: South Carolina caps wire-to-wire run at No. 1 in women's AP Top 25 for second straight year; Indiana, Iowa, Virginia Tech, Stanford round out top five.
Full poll: https://t.co/ZpzgqczgyX pic.twitter.com/4HR71LfPBB
— AP Top 25 (@AP_Top25) March 13, 2023
As hot as the team has been— eight wins in its last nine games— Penn State basketball wasn’t expected to crack the top 25 for the first time this season, and the fact that the team has any votes in the AP Poll days before the NCAA Tournament begins is a sign of how far the program has progressed under Micah Shrewsberry.
Of course, the best indicator of that is the fact that the team is playing in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2011.
The team Penn State is playing in the first-round, Texas A&M, is ranked No. 17. Texas A&M, like Penn State, is on fire. Buzz Williams’s team has won 11 of its last 13 games dating back to the regular-season. Both teams played on Selection Sunday in their conference championship games and fell to No. 1 seeds. Penn State couldn’t complete a late comeback against Purdue and fell, 67-65, in the Big Ten Championship game. Texas A&M was outmatched by Alabama, which ended up getting the No. 1 overall seed. Purdue came in at No. 3 in the AP Poll and ‘Bama came in at No. 1.
Elsewhere in the Big Ten, Indiana was the only other ranked team, coming in at No. 21. IU has been ranked No. 19, but moved down slightly partially due to Penn State beating the Hoosiers in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals this past Saturday in Chicago.
Penn State (22-13) and No. 17 Texas A&M (25-9) are scheduled to tip-off at 9:55 ET on TBS in Des Moines, Iowa, Thursday night. Whoever wins will likely play second-seeded Texas Saturday.