Nittany Lions to face Minnesota in first round of Big Ten Tournament

University Park, Pa. -- The Nittany Lions basketball team will enter the 13th Big Ten Tournament at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis as the 11th seed and will take on No. 6-seed Minnesota (18-12; 9-9 Big Ten) Thursday at approximately 7:30 p.m. in the final game of the first round. The game can be seen live on the Big Ten Network.

The winner of that game will advance to face No. 3 seeded Michigan State (24-7; 14-4 Big Ten), which finished in a three-way tie for the Big Ten regular season championship with Ohio State (24-7; 14-4 Big Ten) and Purdue (26-4; 14-4 Big Ten).

The Buckeyes claimed the No. 1 seed in the tournament by virtue of tie-breakers and will face the winner of the first round's first game between No. 8 seed Michigan (14-16; 7-11 Big Ten) and No. 9 seed Iowa (21-10; 4-14 Big Ten). Purdue took the No. 2 seed and will face the winner of the other first round game between No. 7 seed Northwestern (19-12; 7-11 Big Ten) and No. 10 seed Indiana (20-10; 4-14 Big Ten). Wisconsin (23-7; 13-5 Big Ten) earned the No. 4 seed and a first round bye and will face No. 5 seed Illinois (18-13; 10-8 Big Ten), also the recipient of a first round bye, in the second round.

Penn State and Minnesota will be meeting for the third time on the season. The Golden Gophers claimed a pair of close victories during the regular season winning 75-70 in Minneapolis and 66-64 in State College. Nittany Lion junior point-guard Talor Battle post 20 points or better in both games leading the Lions with 23 in Minneapolis and 20 in State College.

Minnesota leads the all-time series 26-8 and has won nine of the last 10 meetings. Penn State posted a 68-63 victory in the Bryce Jordan Center in 2009. The last three games between the teams have been decided by five points or less.

Penn State has played Minnesota once before in the Big Ten Tournament, falling as the No. 11 seed, 84-60, in the No. 11 vs. No. 6 game in the first round in 2002. Penn State has a 6-12 record in 12 previous Big Ten Tournament appearances, going 4-8 in first round games including a 66-51 victory as the No. 6 seed last year over No. 11 seed Indiana. Penn State has twice reached the semifinals of the Tournament in 2000 and 2001, its farthest advancement.

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Last Updated March 08, 2010