INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 12: Talor Battle #12 of the Penn State Nittany Lions reacts towards the Michigan State Spartans bench during the semifinals of the 2011 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament at Conseco Fieldhouse on March 12, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
So now that the drama of the bubble watch is finally over, we can take a moment and break down Penn State's chances to advance. Their first opponent is a familiar one, the Temple Owls.
The Owls played to a very impressive 25-7 record and went all the way to the Atlantic Ten Tournament championship semi-final game where they fell to the Richmond Spiders. Guard Ramone Moore leads them in scoring with 14.9 ppg, but four other players also average over ten points per game. So they are very versatile, but they aren't very deep.
The Owls have rather dominated the Nittany Lions in recent years, but the games were usually pretty close. Their last meeting was in the fall of 2009, and the Owls won 45-42.
If Penn State can get through the Owls, they will meet up with the winner of No. 2 seed San Diego State and No. 15 Northern Colorado. The Aztecs finished the year with a 32-2 record, but their schedule wasn't one like the Big Ten where you face a heavy hitting night after night. They're aren't a very big team, and they're not overly deep. So of all the No. 2 seeds, I think Penn State ended up in a very nice bracket.
I don't even want to think past the Sweet Sixteen at this point. Heck, I just want to get past Temple. If Penn State could do that it would be a tremendous boost to the program.
Ever wish that more things worked like college brackets? That you could seed everything that way? Top 64 pre-game foods. Top 64 college players. Well, now you can do just that with your friends, with the Allstate BFF Brackets, which takes your 64 top Facebook friends (an algorithm seeds them based on interaction) and seeds them in four regions, exactly like the real tourney. Once the tourney starts, your friends advance with the corresponding seeds – till one is left standing. Check it out at AllState BFF Brackets.