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PSU Selected as No. 10 Seed in Midwest Region, Plays No. 7 Texas A&M Thursday in Des Moines

Penn State Basketball: Andrew Funk
Photo by Penn State Athletics- Andrew Funk

It’s official: Penn State is going to the NCAA Tournament.

For the first time since 2011,  Penn State is playing  in the NCAA Tournament, as announced on the Selection Sunday show not long after Penn State’s 67-65 loss to Purdue on the Big Ten Championship game.

Penn State will enter the bracket as the Midwest Region’s No. 10 seed, where Penn State will matchup with No. 7 Texas A&M in the first round Thursday in Des Moines, Iowa.

After Penn State’s rollercoaster campaign in 2022-23, a national tournament berth is one of the biggest rewards Penn State could have received after sitting on the shelf for the last dozen years.

Penn State’s last NCAA Tournament appearance was a one-and-done showing. The team was eliminated by Temple in its first round game. Penn State was supposed to play in the national tournament in 2020 until it got canceled due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coach Micah Shrewsberry can also give the team much-needed knowledge and experience. He was an assistant on two Butler teams (2010-11) in that made it to the national championship game.

Penn State’s initial tournament hopes looked bleak after the team suffered back-to-back losses to Wisconsin and Maryland Feb. 8 and 11, dropping the team to 14-11 overall (5-9 in the Big 10) with six tough, crucial games remaining.

Instead of folding, the Nittany Lions’ senior tandem of Camren Wynter, Jalen Pickett and Seth Lundy led a charge that resulted in Penn State winning five of its last six contests to finish the regular season at 19-12.

Penn State then began the Big 10 Tournament as the No. 10 seed and beat No. 7 Illinois in its opening game, securing the team’s third 20-win season since making the tournament in 2011.

Penn State followed with two huge wins over Northwestern (67-65 in overtime) in the quarterfinals and Indiana (77-73) in the semifinals to reach its second-ever Big 10 championship game and first 2011.

The Nittany Lions squared off with No. 1 seed Purdue in the title game, and lost, 67-65.

With the current position Penn State is in, the Nittany Lions could be poised to make another run in the national tournament.

Sitting in the middle of the pack, the Nittany Lions aren’t quite a top team and aren’t as low as a Cinderella squad, but the group is finally getting back to where Seth Lundy said it should be — playing Penn State basketball.

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