Penn State men’s basketball made the announcement on Monday: Penn State will play Michigan State at the famed Palestra on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017.
The game and date had been previously reported in July, but Penn State made it official on Monday.
The Nittany Lions, in a release on their athletic site, said the game will be considered a Penn State home game. The rest of the Big Ten conference schedule — including all times and TV plans — will be shared later this summer.
Penn State students can purchase a student ticket for $10.
? #PSUMBB to Host Michigan State in Palestra
— Penn State Hoops (@PennStateMBB) August 22, 2016
Six players on the Nittany Lions’ roster are from the Philadelphia area, and that doesn’t include coach Pat Chambers, who’s from Delaware County.
“We cannot wait to take the Big Ten into Philadelphia this season,” Chambers said in the release. “It is always an incredible experience to play in the Palestra and we are honored to do it this time as the home team. We have so many ties to the city as a program and we look forward to connecting with the alumni and fans in the area.”
Penn State hopes a game in Philly boosts recruiting efforts as Chambers is set to begin his sixth season as the Nittany Lions’ coach. Penn State went 16-16 a season ago and 7-11 in the Big Ten, which marked Chambers’ best conference record yet at Penn State.
The game is also a positive for Michigan State, too. This will be Spartans coach Tom Izzo’s first game at the historic Palestra.
Speaking to David Jones of PennLive.com, Izzo said he talked with Villanova coach Jay Wright, Temple coach Fran Dunphy and Saint Joseph’s coach Phil Martelli about his desire to coach a game at the Palestra.
On Monday, he finally got his wish.
“But then, I think the fact that Penn State with Pat recruiting there a little harder, it just seemed like a good marriage. It’s good for him because he gets in Philly. It’s good for me because I get a bucket-list thing.”