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Nebraska 93, Penn State 70: Pathetic.

No words.

NCAA Basketball: Nebraska at Penn State Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

Well, it’s a good thing Penn State chose to make Friday’s win over Northwestern the Senior Day game, because tonight’s performance was by far the most pathetic of the season. Yes, there was the shellacking suffered at UMass and the 46-17 halftime deficit at Indiana, but you could at least excuse UMass with it being only the second game of the season and on the road, and you could excuse Indiana with the fact that the Hoosiers couldn’t miss and PSU couldn’t buy themselves a bucket in the first half at Indiana. What’s the excuse for allowing Nebraska to score a season-high 49 points in the first half and nearly hit the century mark in the game with a barrage of uncontested three-pointers and barely-contested layups? What’s the excuse for allowing a Nebraska team that struggled with rebounding all season long to grab offensive board after offensive board, leading to some second-chance buckets?

I don’t even have the desire or energy to give you a recap, much like how the team didn’t have the desire or energy to bother taking care of business against a Nebraska team that came in with a 1-16 conference record, sitting firmly in the Big Ten’s basement, with their only win coming at home against Minnesota. Go look at the AP recap and box score if you really want one.

What once looked like a tenth-place finish and avoiding the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament is in grave danger now, thanks to Maryland’s upset win over Ohio State earlier today. The Terps still have one fewer win in conference play than PSU, but their remaining two games are a home contest against Minnesota and a road game at Michigan State. It’s a safe bet they at least split those final two games. PSU meanwhile has back-to-back road games at Illinois and Rutgers, two teams that have been solid on their respective home courts this season. It’s very likely PSU loses both of those games, even if the effort and performance is much better than tonight’s absolute shit show.

Four Factors

Player of the Game

John Harrar deserved so much better than for this to be swan song at the BJC. At one point in the second half, he was seen screaming at his teammates during a timeout to the point of tears. Micah Shrewsberry called a timeout in the final minute of the game to make sure Harrar got the standing ovation he so very much deserved, as his contributions on and off the court to this program cannot be overstated enough.

Random Observations

  • Taking Things For Granted - It’s almost like PSU thought they could just waltz out on to the floor and do to Nebraska what Nebraska ultimately ended up doing to them. This is not a Wisconsin or Purdue caliber-talented program that can afford to play in such a manner and not have it come back to bite them and boy, did it bite them, alright!
  • Bye, Bye, Postseason - Had PSU won as they should have, we could’ve had a little fun speculating about possible NIT scenarios (which admittedly, would’ve been a long shot even if PSU had won tonight). You can kiss all those goodbye, now. Instead, let’s hope the effort is much better in these remaining two regular season games and they can perhaps get a win in the B1G tournament.
  • One Silver Lining - If PSU ends up finishing 11th in the Big Ten and having to play in the opening round of the B1G tournament, they will get a shot at revenge against 14-seed Nebraska. There’s a decent chance Harrar ends up murdering somebody in that game.

Up Next

Penn State (12-14, 7-11) takes to the road this coming Thursday to face 15th-ranked Illinois in the two teams’ only meeting of the season. Tipoff will be at 7:00 PM ET on B1G Network.