The Penn State Nittany Lions men’s basketball program dates far back, playing their first game in the year 1896. The Nittany Lions are members of the Big 10 Conference and play their home games in the Bryce Jordan Center.
Penn State’s most successful NCAA Tournament came in 1954. The Nittany Lions defeated Toledo, Louisiana State, and Notre Dame in their first three games to reach the Final Four. Penn State lost to La Salle by a score of 69-54 in the semifinals, but played Southern California in the 3rd place game and won 70-61. Since the 1950’s, Penn State’s furthest NCAA Tournament run was a Sweet Sixteen appearance in 2001 after beating Providence in the first round and upsetting #2 seed North Carolina in the second round. Penn State has also had postseason success in NIT, placing third place in the tournament three times and winning the tournament in 2009 after beating Baylor by a score of 69-63 in the championship game.
Penn State Nittany Lions Recent NCAA Tourament History
The Nittany Lions most recent NCAA Tournament appearance came in 2011 (their first and only appearance since 2001). Penn State was a bubble team entering the Big Ten Tournament, but the Nittany Lions surprisingly made it to the championship game before losing to the #1 Ohio State Buckeyes. Penn State received an at-large bid as a #10 seed and played the #7 seed Temple Owls in their first game. The game was close but Temple beat Penn State by a score of 66-64 thanks to a buzzer beater by Juan Fernandez.