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A Very Incomplete Preview of Penn State-Marquette in the NIT

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The Nittany Lions head to Milwaukee to take on MY Marquette Golden Eagles in the quarterfinals of the NIT, and Aaron Yorke and I thought we’d half-ass a preview of the game.

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NCAA Basketball: Big Ten Conference Tournament-Purdue vs Penn State
Good Face-Maker Pat Chambers Makes Good Face
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Marquette Golden Eagles play host to the Penn State Nittany Lions in the quarterfinals of the NIT tonight. Winner advances to Madison Square Garden for something it’s actually supposed to host, which is notably not the Big Ten Tournament.

As such and as I have derived at least one piece of paper from Milwaukee’s Jesuit Institution, I began shit-talking our Penn State writer this morning. The following is what approaches a preview:

NIT Quarterfinals

[2] Marquette Golden Eagles vs. [4] Penn State Nittany Lions

Al McGuire Center, Milwaukee, WI
6:00pm CT | ESPN
MU -2.5 | O/U 150

MNW: aay @aaron.yorke if you waanaa taag teaam something on how your Nittaany Lions aare gonnaa lose tonight to my Golden Iggles, I’m down

AY: Let me see if I can dump enough work on my AP. And hopefully the open doesn’t need to be updated.

Andrew K slipped in here, somehow: I would very much aapreciaate a Q&AA between you two following this protocol

AY: Why are you Golden Eagles? Isn’t “Eagles” good enough? Are you overcompensating for something?

Marquette has a great offense and a terrible defense. Explain how it is not Iowa.

Both Andrew Rousey and Markus Howard shoot a ton of threes and get to the free throw line? Is Steve Wojciechowski trying to be the Houston Rockets of college hoops?

MNW: Oh man, first Clayton Thorson shade and now this.

Ooooooooh man.

My first half of the preview HOW DARE YOU. Marquette, unlike Penn State, should have been in the Dance, sir, and does not deserve to have its good name sullied by such a comparison with Iowa. Sure, they both rock the all-yellows at points and sure, the defense is mostly theoretical. And sure, maybe the arena is a morgue that “gets rocking,” say the old-timers who remember when people were passionate about the games. And SURE, maybe it’s got a coach prone to temper tantrums and flapping his arms wildly.

I lost track of what I was trying to prove here.

ANYWAYS. Yes, Andrew Rousey and Markus Howard do exactly that, but, as Dan D’Antoni pointed out, that stuff works. Kinda. Except when it doesn’t, because these are college athletes and lol good shooting performances, right?

But I am really looking forward to this matchup, and I’m bummed that tickets to the Al sold out before I could pick one up. Without Mike Watkins and maybe with Nazeer Bostick (?), Sam Hauser could have a day for Marquette, and I’d give a slight edge to Theo John/Matt Heldt inside against Noted String Bean Julian Moore.

But yeah, tell me (1) why Shep Garner and Tony Carr will bomb that beautiful shade of gold out of existence, and (2) how many more years are on the Pat Chambers Death March.

AY: At least this game will sell out someone’s arena. The Bryce Jordan Center was just as empty as ever for Penn State’s first-round tilt against Temple. I’m not sure how much more enthusiasm has built up since the win in South Bend, but it’s probably not enough to fill the building.

Watkins is certainly out again, and probably Bostick as well after he was busted for marijuana possession in advance of the Notre Dame tilt.

The good news is that Garner is playing his best basketball of his career. His three-point shooting ability will be key in keeping pace with Marquette’s explosive offense. Carr will also need to play well, as the Eagles won’t let him get away with a 1-for-12 performance like Temple did. Fortunately, the sophomore point guard got back on track with 24 points against the Irish.

I’ll take the Lions to win since Carr has been so good at exploiting poor defenses this season. Also, Penn State has now won seven straight NIT games dating back to its 2009 title run.

MNW: This was fun. Or something. [Aaron never answered my question about when Pat Chambers will finally be fired.]

I will take MY Golden Eagles to win, at home in the Al McGuire Center...let’s say 86-82.


Poll

Rate, on a scale of a rotten apple to a gold star, how you feel about this preview:

This poll is closed

  • 11%
    A rotten apple with a worm
    (6 votes)
  • 9%
    A rotten apple, sans worm
    (5 votes)
  • 19%
    A piece of Wonder Bread
    (10 votes)
  • 9%
    A piece of bread from the supermarket of your choosing
    (5 votes)
  • 1%
    A cloudy day
    (1 vote)
  • 21%
    A nice sunset, but one where you’re in the office working late because that asshole in purchasing didn’t do his job and now you barely make it out of the office before dusk
    (11 votes)
  • 1%
    A legitimately nice sunset that you get to enjoy
    (1 vote)
  • 11%
    Mom’s homemade apple pie (with a worm)
    (6 votes)
  • 7%
    Mom’s homemade apple pie (sans worm)
    (4 votes)
  • 5%
    A gold star
    (3 votes)
52 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who wins?

This poll is closed

  • 47%
    Marquette
    (8 votes)
  • 52%
    Penn State
    (9 votes)
  • 0%
    This is basketball, right?
    (0 votes)
17 votes total Vote Now

Here is, should you require it, an open thread for the game(s) tonight. Behave.