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PSU to get Indy-Neb. winner

Penn State guard Izaiah Brockington, left, and guard Courts Jones Jr., react as the walk off the court after their loss to Northwestern in an NCAA college basketball game in Evanston, Ill., Saturday, March 7, 2020. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

From Mirror reports

The Penn State men’s basketball team can finally put behind them the way they finished the regular season, by thinking about the Big Ten Tournament now.

The Nittany Lions, once ranked ninth in the country a month ago in the Associated Press poll but losers of five of their final six regular-season games, will open up postseason play on Thursday at 9 p.m. in Indianapolis. That’s because Illinois beat Iowa, 78-76, Sunday night to put the final format into action.

The Nittany Lions, who finished the regular season at 21-10, are the No. 6 seed. They will play the winner of Indiana (No. 11) vs. Nebraska (No. 14). That game will be played on Wednesday night at 8:30 p.m.

The tournament opens up earlier on Wednesday with Minnesota (No. 12) playing Northwestern (No. 13) at 6 p.m.

On Thursday, Rutgers (No. 8) plays Michigan (No. 9) at noon, followed by Iowa (No. 5) vs. the Minnesota-Northwestern winner at 2:30 p.m. Ohio State (No. 7) will take on Purdue (No. 10) at 6:30 p.m., followed by the Penn State game. The first three rounds are on the Big Ten Network.

If Penn State gets Indiana, the Nittany Lions split with the Hoosiers this season, winning 64-49 at home while losing on the road, 68-60. If Nebraska would win, Penn State won, 76-64, at Nebraska in the only meeting between the two teams this season.

Penn State is 2-2 against Indiana in tourney play and 2-0 against Nebraska. It has not played Indiana in the tourney since 2012, a 75-58 win for the Hoosiers. Penn State beat Nebraska, 76-67, in overtime in 2017.

This is the Nittany Lions fourth-ever first-day tournament bye. It is their highest seeding since 2011. They were also No. 6 in 2009 and this is the highest in the Chambers era. Penn State is 14-22 in the tourney since 1998. Chambers has five tourney wins in his tenure at Penn State.

On Friday, Wisconsin, the No. 1 seed gets the winner of Rutgers-Michigan, Michigan State, the No. 2 seed, gets the Ohio State-Purdue winner, Maryland, the No. 3 seed, plays either Penn State or one of its opponents, while Illinois, the No. 4 seed, gets either Iowa, Minnesota or Northwestern.

The semifinals and finals, slated for CBS, begin Saturday with the semis at 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. The championship is Sunday at 3:30 p.m.

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