Published: Mon, March 12, 2018
Sport | By

Penn State Basketball Earns NIT Invite, Its First Postseason Bid Since 2014

Penn State Basketball Earns NIT Invite, Its First Postseason Bid Since 2014

If Notre Dame was to advance, the Irish would face the victor of Penn State-Temple.

The Nittany Lions won the National Invitation Tournament in that last appearance nine years ago, when Talor Battle and Jamelle Cornley led the Blue and White over Baylor 69-63 in the NIT Championship Game. Due to Notre Dame's seed - and as long as they keep winning - the Irish will play their first 3 NIT games at home, as the first three rounds of the NIT tournament are played on the home court of the higher seeded teams. "Watching some of the teams that are in it, this is a terrific field with many good teams and many which are feeling they were probably slighted by the NCAA Tournament". Region 1 - where the Nittany Lions landed - features the likes of Notre Dame, Marquette, Oregon and Temple.

The Nittany Lions will open the tournament by hosting No. 5 Temple on Wednesday, March 14 at 8:00 p.m. Should Penn State get past the Owls, it would play the victor of Notre Dame and Hampton.

Notre Dame comes into the NIT as one of the favorites to win the whole thing. In fact, the Nittany Lions are third in the eight-team region in total wins, behind OR and Rider (both tied with 22).

After expectedly missing the NCAA tournament - Penn State was barely on the bubble - the Nittany Lions host Temple as a No. 4 seed.

The field is made up of the 32 best teams that failed to make the 2018 NCAA Tournament; the bracket was revealed after the NCAA Tournament Selection Show. "That's what you play the season for". Although the seeding doesn't quite seem fair, and the bracket is extremely tough, Penn State does have a chance to make a deep run in the NIT and gain valuable postseason experience.

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