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Pickin' Nits are ready for HOOPS

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Finally, the madness is in the air and Morgan is still not a state.

Jamie Squire

or the last 217 days, the lasting images of Shabazz Napier and Kevin Ollie from AT&T Stadium have been imprinted on my mind. The answer to the question, 'Is there a college basketball game this week?' is finally 'YES!'. I know Penn State probably won't be cutting down the nets in Indianapolis on April 6, but the sheer fact that college hoops is back makes my week that much better.

Even though the greatest sport in the world is on the horizon of beginning in State College this Friday (follow our coverage), this place still has a couple of other things to still stay up on this week!

Let's go!

Cross Country

It's all business now for the Lions this week. Practice. On the women's side, however, Elizabeth Chikotas was named Big Ten freshman of the year and the men jumped to No. 24 in the coaches poll.

This Week Ahead: It's do or die in the Mid-Atlantic Regional in State College for both teams. Good luck to all the Nittany Lions!

Field Hockey

Penn State faced two tough matches in Ann Arbor last week before bowing out to No. 2 Maryland, 1-0 in the Big Ten tournament semifinals.

The 1-0 win over No.. 19 Michigan State featured a four save shutout from redshirt senior goalkeeper Kylie Licata. Senior Laura Gebhart had the lone goal of the match.

Penn State found itself on the wrong end of a 1-0 bout with one of the best teams in the country on Friday though. Redshirt sophomore Emma Rissinger had the decisive goal in early second half to propel the Terps to the Big Ten title.

This Week Ahead: Penn State travels to Syracuse, N.Y. to take on Boston College in the first round of tournament play on Saturday. The winner will turn around and play the winner of Boston U/Syracuse for the regional title on Sunday.

Soccer

The Penn State men capped off the regular season with a hard fought 1-0 win over a pesky Akron team. Redshirt senior Mikey Minutillo found the back of the net in the 81st minute that eventually determined the fate for the Nittany Lions.

Sparty then came into Jeffrey Field and knocked off Penn State in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament 1-0. It's the second win for Michigan State on Jeffrey Field this year.

Redshirt senior Tim Kreutz chipped one in at the 53:18 mark and Sparty was able to hold on the rest of the way.

The women were upset in the first round of the Big Ten tournament in West Lafayette, Ind. suffering a 1-0 loss to Northwestern. Freshman Michelle Manning scored off a turnover in the Penn State box in the 70th minute.

This Week Ahead: Both teams await their NCAA tournament seeds

Women's Ice Hockey

An offensive outburst at the toothpaste factory gave Penn State a 6-4 win on Friday night. Junior Hannah Hoenshell and sophomore Laura Bowman each had two goals for the Nittany Lions.

The sweep was completed with a 3-1 win on Saturday with two more goals from Bowman. There hasn't been a notable Bowman on this campus for quite a long time!

This team is starting to mold into a competitor with this kind of scoring output!

This Week Ahead: It's another trip to NY for Penn State as they will take on RIT on Friday and Saturday.

Women's Volleyball

Business as usual on Friday against Rutgers. 3-0.

"                          " on Saturday against Maryland. 3-0.

If you look up the term "Business as usual" in a dictionary, it will probably display a graphic showing Penn State currently on a streak of 21 straight sets won.

This Week Ahead: Iowa and Minnesota come into Rec Hall on Wednesday and Saturday night respectively.