It’s the last game of the regular-season, and Penn State basketball can’t hold anything back. If Penn State follows up a big win at Northwestern by beating Maryland, it has a solid chance to make it to the NCAA Tournament. If it loses, those chances drastically go down. Here are five things to know before the big game.
SO CLOSE, YET SO FAR
It feels like Penn State has been on the NCAA Tournament bubble for an eternity. By beating Maryland, the team could well be in the NCAA Tournament, so long as it doesn’t crash out in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament. We will know for sure one week from today, but that week is going to be a long one for Penn State fans.
— Joe Lunardi (@ESPNLunardi) March 4, 2023
One of the more impressive things about the Northwestern win was that one of the country’s best players didn’t crack double figures.
Jalen Pickett scored just seven points in Evanston, which was only the third time he’s scored under 10 points in a game this year and the first since before Thanksgiving. This followed up Pickett not taking a shot in the second-half of Penn State’s collapse against Rutgers last Sunday. To his credit, Pickett was still a factor against Northwestern, ending the night with 11 assists and six rebounds. But Penn State is much better when Pickett is scoring in double figures.
MARYLAND’S ROAD WOES
Maryland is firmly in the NCAA Tournament. The Terps are 20-10 overall and No. 21 in the country.
One of those 20 wins came against Penn State in College Park last month. But Maryland hasn’t been good away from College Park. The Terps are 2-8 on the road , with the two wins coming at Minnesota, the Big Ten’s last-place team, and Louisville, who finished the season 4-27. Penn State is a solid 12-4 at home.
Penn State will be honoring seven seniors; Pickett, Seth Lundy, Myles Dread, Andrew Funk, Cam Wynter, Mikey Henn and Ishaan Jagiasi. Pickett, Dread, Funk, Wynter and Henn are out of eligibility. Lundy and Jagiasi could come back next season. In any case, it will be a day of recognition at the Bryce Jordan Center, and would turn into a day of celebration with a win.
HOW TO WATCH
Penn State is a 2.5-point favorite according to FanDuel Sportsbook. The game is scheduled to tip-off at noon on the Big Ten Network. Here’s more information on how to watch and listen to the game.
TV Announcers: Jason Horowitz (PXP), Brian Butch (Color)
Radio: Penn State Sports Network
Radio Announcers: Steve Jones (PXP), Dick Jerardi (color)
SiriusXM: Ch. 133 or 195 (regular), 957 (app)