Penn State’s men’s basketball team suffered a blow on Selection Sunday when its name failed to come up as the field of 68 for the NCAA Tournament was unveiled.
After all, the Nittany Lions ended the regular season and Big Ten Tournament with a 21-13 record, but the NCAA Tournament selection committee decided the Nittany Lions’ résumé wasn’t good enough. The NIT, however, offered Penn State a 4 seed in its tournament, and the Nittany Lions accepted. That brought us to Wednesday, and a home game against No. 5 Temple in the first round.
NIT games are divided into quarters instead of halves this season, and on this night Penn State lost the first and second quarters to go into halftime trailing 29-24. The 5-point deficit would increase to 6, but the fourth quarter was ultimately all the Nittany Lions would need.
Penn State outscored Temple 19-9 to win not only the quarter but the game, 63-57, and advance to the second round. Josh Reaves led all scorers with 19 points, and his 11 rebounds led the team.
Up next is a trip to No. 1-seeded Notre Dame at noon ET on Saturday. The game will be televised on ESPN.
Related: View the full 2018 NIT bracket here