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Penn State Will Play Illinois to Open Big Ten Tournament

IOWA CITY, IA - FEBRUARY 04: Illinois coach Brad Underwood as seen leaving the court at halftime during a college basketball game between the Illinois Fighting Illini and the Iowa Hawkeyes on February 04, 2023, at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, IA (Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire)

With Sunday’s thrilling last second 65-64 win over Maryland on Sunday, Penn State locked up the tenth seed in the Big Ten Tournament. Now we know who its first opponent will be and when the game will take place.

Penn State will play seventh-seeded Illinois for the third time this season on Thursday evening.

Tip-off is at 6:30 p.m. Eastern and will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.

Penn State swept the regular season series against Illinois with Penn State winning the first matchup 74-59 on Dec. 10 in Champaign when Illinois was ranked No. 17 in the country. Penn State won the second matchup 93-81 on Feb. 14 when Jalen Pickett scored 41 points which set a Bryce Jordan Center record by any player.

Illinois lost its season finale 76-71 at Purdue and finished with an 21-10 record and an 11-9 record in the Big Ten Conference.

The winner of the Penn State-Illinois matchup will face either Northwestern or Indiana in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament.

If Northwestern beats Rutgers later on Sunday, then it clinches the number two seed in the Big Ten tournament.

Twitter: @bwalkerdadon

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