Penn State Basketball takes on Colorado State in the third place game of the Charleston Classic tonight at 6:00 pm on ESPN U.
This pre-conference slate tournament started great as the Nittany Lions led by as many as 21 versus Furman, before allowing them to almost come all the way back. Penn State Basketball hung on for a 73-68 win against a team many thought would be a NCAA Tournament team.
Things soured on Day 2, as the Nittany Lions fell behind by 16 to Virginia Tech and despite a strong 2nd half, fell 61-59. Furman also lost their game (to Old Dominion), taking a bit away from what we thought was a good win on Thursday.
Penn State Basketball did get a break in the other half of the bracket with regards to strength of schedule.
The Colorado State Rams, who crushed South Carolina in round 1, fell to host Charleston in the other semifinal. Coming into the tournament, the Rams had the highest KenPom in that half of the bracket.
In this tournament, Penn State will end up playing the top thee KenPom ranked teams, which is B1G given our lack of opportunities for quality non-conference wins.
The 4-1 Rams have four players averaging double digit points this year and have a full 9 player rotation, which could be signficant as both teams are playing their third game in fourth days.
It won’t be easy, but if the 2022-2023 Nittany Lions want to make the NCAA Tournament, these are games you have to win.
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