Big Ten Tournament
Tipoff: Noon at Conseco Fieldhouse, Indianapolis
Records: Penn State (14-13, 6-10, No. 8 seed); Northwestern (14-14, 6-10, No. 9 seed).
Coaches: Ed DeChellis is 30-55 in three seasons at Penn State, 0-2 at Big Tens and 135-148 in 10 seasons overall. Bill Carmody is 82-94 in six seasons at Northwestern, 3-5 at Big Tens and 174-119 in 10 seasons overall.
Series: Penn State leads, 18-11.
Last meeting: The Lions beats the Wildcats twice in the regular season, most recently (68-55) at the Jordan Center Feb. 25.
TV: ESPN2 (Brent Musburger play by play, Steve Lavin color).
Radio: Penn State Sports Network (Steve Jones play by play, Dick Jerardi color).
Next up: The winner of this game takes on top-seeded Ohio State at noon Friday (ESPN).
G Ben Luber, 6-0 Jr. (7.3)
G David Jackson, 6-1 Jr. (7.2)
F Geary Claxton, 6-5 So. (15.5)
F Travis Parker, 6-5 Sr. (11.9)
F Jamelle Cornley, 6-6 Fr. (11.5)
G Craig Moore, 6-4 Fr. (6.8)
G Mohamed Hachad, 6-4 Sr. (11.6)
F Vedran Vukusic, 6-8 Sr. (19.4)
F Tim Doyle, 6-5 Jr. (8.3)
C Bernard Cote (4.3)
The last time Penn State beat the same opponent three times in a season? The 1989-90 campaign (George Washington in the Atlantic 10).
Though the Big Ten tourney was held in Conseco just two years ago (2004), only one Nittany Lion has ever played in the building — Luber. Amazing to think the rest of the roster has turned over in that short span.
However far State advances in the tournament, all of its games will be on national TV.
The No. 8 seed is 7-7 all-time in the Big Ten Tournament. The No. 9 seed has lost to No. 8 in six of the eight first-round games, including the last three.
The 8-9 winner has gone on to beat the No. 1 seed in four of the eight tournaments.
With a loss Thursday, DeChellis would own the worst record (0-3) of any coach in the nine-year history of the tournament. Tom Davis (Iowa) and Brian Ellerbe (Michigan) are also 0-2, though Ellerbe had to forfeit wins due to NCAA violations.
FOS Prediction: Penn State 68, Northwestern 63.
Comment: Don't buy the argument that it is nearly impossible to beat a team three times in a given season. Penn State matches up extremely well with Northwestern on both ends.
FOS Record: 24-3.