Pennsylvania's other Final Four team is feeling lucky for their big showdown Tuesday.
It will be a battle of the bigs in the NIT Final Four. But, we’re not talking the Big Ten’s Michigan State or the Big East’s Connecticut -- we’re talking about some Fighting Irish fending off a pack of Nittany Lions.
That’s right the other Pennsylvania hardwood team (the one from Happy Valley) will face Notre Dame Tuesday night at the Mecca of Naismith’s creation -- Madison Square Garden. On the line is a formal invite to the championship game.
The Nittany Lions put Penn State back on the basketball map as they rumbled through the 2009 season but it wasn’t enough to earn them an EZ pass to the NCAA Tournament.
PSU was one of the last teams bumped off the tournament bubble. Now they’re doing their best to prove detractors wrong by reaching the NIT Final Four.
The Lions (25-11) look to pounce all over the Big Apple but may need a little luck against the Fighting Irish (21-14.)
This is the fourth time these two teams face off and the third consecutive time in the post-season. In the last match Notre Dame knocked the Lions out of the NIT Semifinals in 2000 in a 73-52 beat down.
The one-two Irish punch of Luke Harangody and Kyle McAlarney should dominate the paint and the arch but Penn State will have a little something extra on it’s bench- err side.
Can you say “We are- Penn State!?”
That’s right State College will send 16 buses packed with some roaring fans to Gotham City to back up their boys with the official “Rally at the Garden” planned before tip-off.
Round four of this feisty rivalry should be a slugfest but you don’t have to drop big pay-per-view bucks on this one -- it airs for free on ESPN2 at 9:15.
Go Penn State!