The No. 1 team in all the land visits Happy Valley on Tuesday evening as Ohio State faces Penn State inside the Bryce Jordan Center at 9:00 P.M. on the Big Ten Network.
It's is Senior Night for the Nittany Lions' five seniors. Talor Battle, Jeff Brooks, Andrew Jones, David Jackson and Steve Kirkpatrick will all play their last regular season game at the BJC, and coach Ed DeChellis said all five, including the walkon Fitzpatrick, will start the game.
Aside from the nostalgia of seeing a senior class with possibly the program's best player of all-time a member of it take the court for the final time, the game also has serious implications for the Lions' postseason aspirations. For a while, it seemed as though Penn State would only need to split its final two games to have a relatively reasonable chance of earning an at-large big in the NCAA Tournament with a couple of wins in Indianapolis.
However, Sunday's opponent, Minnesota, has taken a turn for the worst in recent weeks and it's RPI is taking a nose dive. No longer can the Lions count on getting a top 50 win against the Gophers at the Barn. Ohio State represents Penn State's last chance to make a serious statement to the selection committee.
The Lions, of course, fell just short when the two teams met in Columbus in January. The Lions managed to keep the game close and tied it with about 44 seconds left, but Buckeye star Jared Sullinger scored Ohio State's last six points to put Penn State away.
For more on the game, check out Black Shoe Diaries.