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March 13, 2011
INDIANAPOLIS - Penn State has earned a No. 10 seed in the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship and will face No. 7 and old rival Temple on Thursday, March 17 in Tucson. The tip time and the televising network are to be announced. The contest will air on the Penn State Sports Network.
The Nittany Lions are in the West Region. The winner of the Penn State-Temple contest will face the winner of the No. 2-15 match-up, San Diego State-Northern Colorado, on Saturday in the University of Arizona's McKale Center.
"Our five seniors, I'm very happy for them, very proud of them; they stayed the course," said Coach Ed DeChellis. "They've been great kids for me and for the University. The smiles and joy I saw on our kids' faces (tonight) is very special to me."
The Nittany Lions (19-14) battled No. 1 Ohio State (32-2) today in the Big Ten Tournament Championship game in Conseco Fieldhouse, falling 71-60. Senior All-Big Ten guard Talor Battle scored a game-high 24 points and was named to the All-Tournament team. Honorable mention all-conference selection Jeff Brooks tallied 19 points.
Penn State was 7-3 during the final month of the season after Brooks returned to the starting line-up from a shoulder injury, with the only losses coming to Ohio State (twice) and at Wisconsin.
Penn State and Temple have met 92 times previously, most recently on Dec. 5, 2009, when the Owls won in Philadelphia. Temple leads the series between the former Eastern 8 and Atlantic-10 Conference rivals, 59-32. The Owls have a 4-1 edge over the Nittany Lions in neutral site games, which includes an 84-72 win in the 2001 NCAA Tournament South Region semifinals.
Penn State is making its ninth NCAA Tournament appearance all-time and first since 2001, when the Nittany Lions advanced to the Sweet 16. That year, Penn State was a No. 7 seed in the South Region and defeated Providence (69-59) and No. 2 seed North Carolina (82-74) before falling to Temple in the Sweet Sixteen.
The Nittany Lions have a 9-10 all-time record in the NCAA Tournament. Led by first-team All-American Jesse Arnelle, Penn State advanced to the 1954 NCAA Final Four, beating USC for third place after losing to eventual national champion LaSalle in the semifinals. Penn State has appeared in the NCAA Tournament in: 1942, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1965, 1991, 1996, 2001 and 2011.
The Nittany Lions were 9-9 in Big Ten Conference play, finishing in a tie for fourth place. In the Big Ten Tournament, Penn State was the No. 6 seed and defeated Indiana, No. 13 Wisconsin and Michigan State before falling to Ohio State. Penn State has defeated four ranked teams, five RPI Top 50 teams and 10 Top 100 teams this season.
Penn State ticket information for Penn State in the NCAA Tournament will be posted on www.GoPSUsports.com on Monday.