The Notre Dame basketball team will face Penn State in the second round of the NIT this Saturday.
After a largely “ho-hum” win over Hampton to open the NIT, the Notre Dame basketball team now must prepare for a more formidable opponent: The Penn State Nittany Lions.
How did Penn State get here?
Penn State comes into the game with a 22-13 record. They finished 6th in the Big Ten and missed an NCAA Tournmament bid thanks largely to what ended up being a relatively weak conference schedule. They notched three wins during the year over Ohio State — a 5-seed in the NCAA Tournament. They also beat Montana earlier in the season — another March Madness participant.
The made it to the second round of the NIT by beating Temple, 63-57.
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Who coaches the Nittany Lions?
Penn State’s head coach is Pat Chambers. He took the job in 2011 and has a record of 100-116 during his tenure. Don’t let the record fool you, as Chambers has done a lot over work in that time to get Penn State back to being competitive on a nightly basis.
Scoring: Tony Carr, 19.4 ppg
Assists: Tony Carr, 4.7 apg
Rebounding: Mike Watkins, 8.9 rpg
Blocks: Mike Watkins, 2.3 bpg
Steals: Josh Reeves, 2.3 spg
Why should Notre Dame be worried?
The Nittany Lions are not dependent on one player and can beat you a number of different ways. This was evident when their leading scorer — Tony Carr — was held to just 2 points against Temple. Penn State still found a way to win.
Why shouldn’t the Irish be worried?
The Nittany Lions have struggled in the paint since losing Mike Watkins earlier in the season. Bonzie Colson should be able to operate freely under the basket and potentially take over the game down the stretch.
The Irish will host Penn State this Saturday at noon EST on ESPN and the WatchESPN app.