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Big Ten Tournament First Round Preview: Penn State vs Nebraska Part Three

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Penn State plays Nebraska for the third time this season.

NCAA Basketball: Penn State at Nebraska Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

The Nittany Lions are coming into the Big Ten Tournament with a bit of momentum, having had arguably their best game of the season a week ago against Minnesota, then following that up by coming back from down 16 to take down the Maryland Terrapins. In a weird turn of events, it was Penn State coming back from a giant deficit to steal a win they maybe shouldn’t have had.

Nebraska, however, is also coming off great performances. They notched wins against Minnesota and Rutgers, and came within a second of beating Northwestern to close out the season. Yes, the clunker against Iowa was sandwiched between those, but it’s Iowa.

Like Penn State, the Huskers are peaking late, and had it not been for the fact that the season is already over, the Cornhuskers may have notched a couple more wins.

Scouting the Opposition

We’ve previewed this roster enough that nothing here changes, except for one thing: Teddy Allen, the reason for Penn State’s close loss in the first meeting, and close win in the second, is no longer with the team.

In his absence, Kobe Webster and Trey McGowens have filled in the role of volume scorer, which still puts the Lions in a position to guard someone who could go off at any time, but it also gives Penn State the advantage of having to guard one fewer person that can go off at any given moment.

What to Watch For

This will be another up and down game, and the question will be whether Penn State can take control early and sit players. Can the Lions take advantage of the fact that the Teddy Allen thorn is off the Nittany Lions’ side, or will this turn into another track meet that will be decided in the last seconds of the game?

It will be in Penn State’s best interest if it were the former, as rest is paramount if they want to make a deep run.

Prediction

Nebraska has played some good games in the past couple of weeks, but I can’t see how losing their best player leads to better results against a team who had no answer for him. Penn State 79, Nebraska 70.