Nittany Lion Basketball Announces 2007-08 Big Ten Schedule
Aug. 14, 2007
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA., Aug. 14, 2007 - The Penn State Nittany Lion basketball team will open its 16th season of Big Ten play in a nationally televised game on ESPN2 as they take on Northwestern in Evanston, Ill., on Wednesday, Jan. 2. The Big Ten announced on Tuesday the 18-game conference schedule, up from 16 last season, of all 11 teams for the 103rd year of conference play.
The 9:00 p.m. (ET) tip vs. the Wildcats will be the first of two road games to open the Big Ten season for the Nittany Lions and one of at least two of Penn State's conference contests to be carried on an ESPN network. In coach Ed DeChellis' fifth season at the helm, Penn State will also welcome nine Big Ten opponents to the Bryce Jordan Center for the first time since the 1996-97 season.
"I think our fans will enjoy that we have five weekend home games against teams like Michigan State, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota and we have an opportunity to play Ohio State at home on ESPN," DeChellis said. "We are also very pleased that our students will be on campus for all of our nine home games and look forward to an exciting environment in the Jordan Center."
Penn State's first Big Ten home game will come on Saturday, Jan. 12 as the Nittany Lions take on Minnesota in a 2:00 p.m. tip on the Big Ten Network. Penn State will have at least 15 conference games televised by the Big TenNetwork during the 2007-08 season, with five being weekend home contests. The Nittany Lions will also have a home showdown with Ohio State on Tuesday, Jan. 29 televised on ESPN and their final regular season conference game, a weekend home match-up with Indiana on March 8 or 9, is slated as a wildcard game to be carried by either CBS, ESPN or the Big Ten Network.
All 99 games of the expanded intra-conference portion of the 2008 Big Ten men's basketball schedule will be televised by CBS Sports, ESPN, ESPN2 or the Big Ten Network. Once the intra-conference season tips off, Big Ten men's basketball games will be televised on a national basis on every day of the week with the exception of Monday and Friday. CBS Sports will continue broadcasting Big Ten match-ups on Sundays. The conference's new 10-year national rights contract with ESPN will double the amount of mid-week games featured, as ESPN or ESPN2 will air a weekly contest on both Tuesday and Thursday while also showing games on Saturday and Sunday.
The Big Ten Network, set to launch on Aug. 30, will carry 64 men's basketball intra-conference games, nearly two-thirds of the total number of contests. The Big Ten Network schedule will begin with exhibition contests and all home non-conference games not appearing on CBS or an ESPN Network. Once Big Ten play rolls around, the Network schedule will feature a double-header every Wednesday night along with games on Tuesday or Thursday nights and a robust package of games on the weekends, including double-, triple- and quadruple-headers.
All intra-conference games will be distributed on a national basis on the Big Ten Network, which means the end of the split-regional or local broadcasts seen in the past. The Big Ten Network will also televise first-round and quarterfinal contests during the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament.
Penn State will open the conference season for the second consecutive year by taking on Northwestern. The Nittany Lions downed the Wildcats 83-57 in the Bryce Jordan Center to open the 2007 conference slate. Penn State will then head to Illinois on Jan. 6 for the first of three Sunday conference road games for the Lions to be shown on the Big Ten Network. Penn State will also play on Tuesday night three times during the conference season along with traditional Wednesday and Saturday games.
Penn State's home Big Ten schedule will feature four games in January: Minnesota, Wisconsin (Tue., Jan. 15 at 9:00 p.m.), Purdue (Wed., Jan. 23 at 7:00 p.m.), and Ohio State; three games in February: Michigan State (Sat., Feb. 2 at 8:00 p.m.), Illinois (Sat., Feb. 16 at 7:00 p.m.) and Iowa (Wed., Feb. 27 at 7:00 p.m.); and two in March: Michigan (Sat., March 1 at 8:00 p.m.) and Indiana.
Penn State will play Ohio State and Northwestern just once during the regular season. The Nittany Lions will visit every Big Ten opponent except the Buckeyes and host every Big Ten foe except the Wildcats.
The 11th Annual Big Ten Tournament will be played March 13-16 at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind. One first round and two quarterfinal games will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network and the semifinals and championship will be carried by CBS.
Penn State will return four starters, including 2006-07 All-Big Ten honorees Geary Claxton and Jamelle Cornley, and its top three scorers, rebounders and field goal percentage leaders from last season.
The Big Ten Network will air more than 600 hours of Penn State programming during its inaugural year. The vast majority of Penn State's 29 varsity sports, if not all, will be featured on the Big Ten Network in 2007-08, in addition to at least 60 hours of institutional, non-athletic programming.
To get the Big Ten Network, fans should call 1-866-WANT-B10 and record a message or be patched through to their cable operator. Fans who want to receive the Big Ten Network also can visit www.BigTenNetwork.com and enter their zip code, which will then provide a link to the cable or satellite providers in their areas so that they can request the Big Ten Network directly.
For more information regarding the Big Ten Network, visit www.BigTenNetwork.com
Penn State's non-conference schedule is expected to be announced later this month.