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Penn State-Texas A&M Basketball to Tip-off at 9:55 ET Thursday

Penn State Basketball: Seth Lundy
Photo by Penn State Athletics

Penn State basketball will play its first-round NCAA Tournament game with Texas A&M Thursday will tip-off at 9:55 on TBS in Des Moines, Iowa.

It will be 10th-seeded Penn State’s first NCAA Tournament game since 2011, and Texas A&M’s first since 2018.

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. Penn State has won eight of its last 10 games dating back to the regular season, and A&M has won 11 of 13.

This will be the third straight time Penn State has made it to the NCAA Tournament as a 10 seed. Penn State was a 10-seed in 2011, when it fell to No. 7 Temple on a last-second shot by Juan Fernandez. It was a No. 7 in 2001 when it beat Kentucky in the first round and then did the same against second-seeded North Carolina in the second round before falling to No. 11 Temple in the Sweet 16.

The only time Penn State’s made the tournament since it’s been in the Big 10 and hasn’t been a No. 7 seed was in 1996, when it was a No. 5. That year’s team was upset by coach Nolan Richardson and No. 12 Arkansas in the first round.

Penn State-Texas A&M basketball will be the last of four first-round games in Des Moines.

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. Overall, Penn State in this region fans would probably rather the game start sooner, but they’ll take anything after a 12 year layoff.

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