Courtesy of GoPSU Athletics
Nittany Lions earn first NCAA Tournament bid since 2011 and 10thoverall
CHICAGO – On the heels of an incredible run to the Big Ten Tournament championship game, the Penn State men’s basketball team has earned the No. 10 seed in the Midwest region of the 2023 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. The 22-13 Nittany Lions will take on seventh-seeded Texas A&M at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa. Time and television designations will be announced later tonight.
Penn State is making their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2011 and 10thoverall. The Nittany Lions enter the tournament having won eight of their last 10 games. Penn State owns eight Quad 1 wins, with six comingin the last 18 days.
This will be the first time Penn State and Texas A&M will meet in the NCAA Tournament. The Nittany Lions are 0-4 all-time against the Aggies. The squads last squared off in 2017 in the Legends Classic in Brooklyn.
Second-year head coach Micah Shrewsberry has guided the Nittany Lions to the 12th 20-win season in the 127-year history of Penn State basketball. All-American guard Jalen Pickett leads the charge for the Nittany Lions as the only player in the country averaging 18 points, seven rebounds, and six assists per game. Senior Seth Lundy was honored as an All Big-Ten selection and is enjoying his best season as a Nittany Lion this year, while Myles Dread, Andrew Funk and Camren Wynter round out a solid core group of veteran leaders the Nittany Lions will lean on heading into tournament action.
Lundy and Dread were on the 2019-20 Penn State team that was projected to make the 2020 NCAA Tournament before the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the 2020 postseason, and both will now get their chance to dance. Only two players on Penn State’s current roster have played in an NCAA Tournament: Camren Wynter (Drexel, 2021) and Michael Henn (UC-Davis, 2017).
NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY
Penn State will make its 10th NCAA Tournament appearance in program history, with its first appearance coming in the 1942 season and its latest in the 2011 season. The 2019-20 team was projected to make the 2020 NCAA Tournament before the postseason was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Nittany Lions own a 9-11 overall record in the NCAA Tournament and have reached one Final Four (1954).
The 10th-seeded Nittany Lions were edged by seventh-seeded Temple, 66-64, in the first round of Penn State’s most recent tournament appearance in 2011.
The No. 5 seed earned by the 1996 squad is the highest a Penn State team has been seeded, while the 2001 team was a No. 7 seed and reached the Sweet Sixteen.
The Nittany Lions have won four out of nine first-round games in the NCAA Tournament, with four of the five losses coming by single digits.