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2011 NCAA Tournament: Penn State Vs. Temple

Penn State makes its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 10 years today when it takes on Temple at 2:10 P.M on TNT.

The Nittany Lions are coming off an impressive charge at the Big Ten Tournament where they defeated Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan State before falling by 11 to Ohio State in the tournament championship game. The improbable run took them from being unlikely NCAA Tournament appearances to a solid 10 seed in a matter of a couple of days.

Temple has played well all season long, finishing 14-2 in Atlantic 10 play, good for second place in the conference. The Owls fell against Dayton at the conference tournament in Atlantic City, but has reeled off enough wins to earn a pretty good seed heading into the Big Dance.

These two teams know each other well. In October, they scrimmaged at the Bryce Jordan Center (Temple reportedly got the better of play) and last season, they met in Philadelphia with the Owls winning 45-42 in a defensive battle at the Licouras Center.

Both of those events were a long time ago, though. The Owls have battled injuries all season and Penn State has seen guys like Jeff Brooks and Tim Frazier emerge to become consistent contributors on both ends of the floor. The contest should be a pretty even one. Don't be surprised if it goes right down to the wire.

For more on this game, check out Black Shoe Diaries.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.