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Penn State, take II.

Penn State Nittany Lions
Current record: 19-9 (8-7)
Current RPI: 61
Current Sagarin: 57
Current Pomeroy: 74 (8-7)
2007-08 record: 15-16 (7-11)
2007-08 RPI: 155
2007-08 Sagarin: 115
2007-08 Pomeroy: 108
Series: IU leads 27-5 (25-5 since Penn State joined the Big Ten in 1992-93)
Last Penn State win: 1/17/2009 (65-55 in Bloomington)
Last IU win: 1/20/2008 (81-65 in Bloomington)
Last IU win in University Park: 1/13/2007 (84-74)
Pomeroy scouting report
TV: 6 pm Saturday, BTN

IU has lost to Penn State only five times since the Nittany Lions joined the Big Ten in 1992-93, and I feel comfortable guessing that the Lions have never been so heavily favored against IU as they will be tomorrow night. PSU, like Northwestern, won at Assembly Hall for the first time ever this season, and a win tomorrow night will give PSU its first-ever season sweep of IU. Penn State is firmly in NCAA contention, but the lackluster computer ratings suggest that the Lions still have some work to do. It goes without saying that Penn State can't afford to lose to IU. Penn State concludes its schedule with a home game against Illinois and a road trip to Iowa, and Penn State probably needs two wins to feel relatively comfortable.

Penn State, like so many other Big Ten teams, plays a slow-paced offense (ranked below 300 in possessions per game) and takes good care of the ball. Limiting turnovers, defensive rebounding, three point shooting, and perimeter defense have allowed Penn State to move out of the lower echelon. Penn State completely shut down IU's offense in the last game. Defense and taking care of the ball allowed Penn State to overcome a less than impressive shooting performance.

The previews are getting a bit stale, I realize, but there's not much to say. IU faces a much better team tomorrow, and will need a well-above-average performance to have a chance to win.