Penn State Basketball Dancing in March?: Gritty Has Become Pretty

Off to a fast start to the season, Penn State Basketball has shown some of the hallmarks of an NCAA Tournament caliber roster, as the Big Ten slate looms.

Penn State Basketball

Penn State Basketball head coach Micah Shrewsberry (Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire)

With the past week yielding a win vs. Butler and a close loss to Virginia Tech, Penn State Basketball could be heading toward their best season since the pandemic cut short the 2019-2020 season when the Nittany Lions peaked at No. 9 in the nation under former coach Pat Chambers.

The Nittany Lions, despite losing their first game, are officially IN the NCAA Tournament according to Joe Lunardi’s latest prognostications. 

Lunardi placed the Nittany Lions in the last four teams getting a bye, meaning they’d avoid the play-in game. 

The season has gone well for Penn State Basketball, and with the lowly Lafayette Leopards coming to the Bryce Jordan Center on Black Friday, it seems all but a given the Nittany Lions will be in Lundardi’s next bracket projection.  


Lunardi is incredibly high on the Big Ten Conference as a whole. He projects the conference to get 10 teams in the NCAA Tournament (Penn State being that 10th team), which would be a conference record. 

This could complicate the Nittany Lions path a bit since it’s likely the conference will see a lot of records between 8-12 and 12-8, and one game could make all the difference in whether or not Penn State is playing in March Madness.

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