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Penn State Basketball to Open ESPN Invitational With NCAA Tournament Rematch

Photo by Penn State Athletics: Mike Rhoades

Former Penn State and current Notre Dame basketball coach Micah Shrewsberry got his last win at Penn State against Texas A&M.

More than eight months later, Shrewsberry’s successor, Mike Rhoades, will be going against the Aggies.

The “Shrews Crew” dismantled the Aggies, 76-59, in Des Moines, Iowa, in the Round of 64 for Penn State’s first NCAA Tournament win since 2001.

In November, the teams will meet again, with presumably a much warmer climate and assuredly much smaller stakes surrounding the matchup. PSU and A&M will play in Orlando, Florida, to kick off both teams’ ESPN Events Invitational on Thanksgiving Day.

College Basketball Insider Jon Rothstein first reported the news Tuesday afternoon.

It’s not likely that any pilgrims will be in attendance, but those who will be there will see a solid field of college basketball teams.

The tournament is scheduled over Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 23-26) at State Farm Field House, near ESPN Wide World of Sports.

PSU is joined by Boise State, Butler, Florida Atlantic, Iowa State, Texas A&M, Texas, Virginia Tech and VCU.

The last school is perhaps the most intriguing that PSU could play against.

New Penn State head coach Rhoades came from VCU, where he was the boss for six seasons before taking the Penn State job this past March.

Hours after PSU officially named Rhoades its next men’s basketball coach, college basketball insider Jon Rothstein tweeted that the two schools would have a home-and-home series as part of Rhoades’s buyout.

After the Thanksgiving clash, Penn State will face either Butler or Florida Atlantic Black Friday. Whoever PSU plays Sunday will come from the other side of the bracket (Boise State, Iowa State, VCU or Virginia Tech.)

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