The Penn State men are the No. 6 seed in the Big Ten Tournament and will play 11th-seeded Indiana on Thursday at 5 p.m. at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
If the Nittany Lions (21-10, 10-8) beat the Hoosiers (6-23, 1-16), they will face third-seeded Purdue (22-8, 11-7) in the second round Friday at 9 p.m.
Penn State cannot afford to lose to lowly Indiana and expect to reach the NCAA Tournament because it would badly damage the Lions' RPI. The two teams met Feb. 28 at the Bryce Jordan Center, and PSU avoided a huge upset by hanging on for a 61-58 win.
Several pundits have predicted Penn State will make the NCAAs by winning one game in the Big Ten tourney. One victory would set up a rubber-match contest against Purdue, and if the Lions could beat the Boilermakers it should lock up an NCAA bid.
Penn State, Ohio State and Wisconsin all finished 10-8 in the Big Ten, but the other two teams owned tiebreakers to knock the Lions down to the No. 6 seed.
- Cory Giger