The Penn State basketball team completed a very satisfying Big Ten Tournament run without one of its best players, Mike Watkins. The team won two games and held tough during its third game in three days until the legs of key players wilted late on Saturday.
It is uncertain whether Watkins will be able to return for the remainder of the season. It is equally unclear what the future holds for Pat Chambers and his squad. The experts seem to agree that 21-13, 9-9 during Big Ten conference play, and two wins in the B1G Tournament was not enough to secure an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. The experts also seemed to agree that Penn State basketball was doomed for failure, dead in the water at 3-5 in conference play on January 20. The experts speak definitively about future outcomes that cannot be known with such certainty.
We here at the Black Shoe Diaries, and of course those who read and comment below the articles, are the true experts. So today we will demonstrate our ability to tell the future.
Statistics, past results and other things such as common sense will tell those outside of the Penn State community that the Lions’ destination is already given; there will be no big dancing for the team, only an invitation to the NIT. Some within the community may not be willing to concede that point just yet.
As recently as Thursday night, midway through the second half of the game versus Northwestern, it was still up for debate whether Tony Carr and his team would go dancing at all. Now there is no doubt that there will be at least one tournament game in this team’s future.
While most would say that the Lions are on the unhappy side of the NCAA Tournament bubble, others remain optimistic. Being on the bubble indicates that the team is a serious contender in the college basketball world. Getting to the semi-finals of the Big Ten Tournament strengthens that claim. Penn State is climbing in the ranks. How high? We’ll know in the coming weeks.
My prediction is that the team will make it to the championship game of the NIT. Unfortunately I have been having trouble with my crystal ball lately and scheduling a service call on one of those, as many people already know, is a nightmare. So I am unable to see whether or not the team will win the NIT championship, only that it will in fact play in the game. I know, it’s frustrating not to have a clear prediction and to be honest I lost my cool with the crystal ball service rep on the phone. They should have seen the problem coming.
This Monday Morning Point Guard will serve as the epicenter for all Penn State basketball experts to leave their prediction. Which tournament do you think the team will be invited to, the NIT or NCAA, and how far do you think it will advance?