TOURNEY TIME: Penn State kicks off Big Ten Tournament in New York City on Thursday
UNIVERSITY PARK — Penn State is the No. 7 seed in the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament presented by SoFi and will face No. 10 seed Northwestern in Thursday’s second round at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
The contest on Thursday, March 1 will begin at 6:30 p.m. and air on the Big Ten Network, the Penn State Sports Network and GoPSUsports.com. The winner advances to Friday night’s quarterfinals vs. 16th ranked, and No. 2 seed, Ohio State, at 6:30 p.m. The semifinals are Saturday starting at 2 p.m. and the championship game is Sunday at 4:30 p.m.
The 21st edition of the Big Ten Tournament is being played for the first time in the “World’s Most Famous Arena,” from Feb. 28-March 4.
All-session tickets are available at the Madison Square Garden box office, Ticketmaster.com and MSG.com or charge by phone at 800-745-3000. Single-session tickets will go on sale starting at noon ET on Monday, Feb. 26. Orders are limited to eight tickets per session.
The Nittany Lions (19-12, 9-8) and Wildcats (15-16, 6-12) split their two regular season meetings this year. Penn State won, 78-63, on Jan. 5, led by 30 points from Lamar Stevens, who made a Bryce Jordan Center men’s record 14 field goals. Northwestern posted a 70-61 win Jan. 20 in Allstate Arena, with Shep Garner leading the Nittany Lions with 22 points.
The teams will be playing in the Big Ten Tournament for just the fourth time overall and the first time since 2006, when Penn State captured a 68-55 victory in the first round. The Wildcats won first round meetings in 1999 and 2004. The Nittany Lions lead the all-time series, 30-19.
Led by head coach Patrick Chambers, Penn State has earned its best Big Ten record and finish (T 6th), and best conference tournament seed, since the 2010-11 squad was the No. 6 seed and won three contests to advance to the championship game.
Penn State is 12-20 in the Big Ten Tournament since the event began in 1998. In last year’s tournament in Washington, D.C., the Nittany Lions defeated Nebraska and lost to No. 5 seed Michigan State. The Nittany Lions advanced to the 2015 quarterfinals, knocking off Nebraska and Iowa before being edged by No. 4 seed Purdue.
Eight players on the 2017-18 roster have seen action in the conference tournament, led by six games by seniors Shep Garner and Julian Moore over the past three years. Garner has scored 77 points in his Big Ten Tournament appearances. Against Ohio State in the 2016 second round, he tallied 25 points, five rebounds and five assists, producing the fourth-highest (tied) scoring game by a Nittany Lion in the tournament.
Steve Jones and Dick Jerardi will have the call on the Penn State Sports Network and GoPSUsports.com. Kevin Kugler, Jon Crispin and Rick Pizzo will call Thursday night’s action for Big Ten Network.