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Time to Dance: Penn State

Who? The Nittany Lions of Penn State. Or possibly the Lady Lions. I'm not sure what their current stance is on that; for distasteful reasons, Rene Portland was big on emphasizing the Lady bit.

What? The Nittany Lion was inspired by the Princeton tiger, and named for the Nittany Valley, which was in turn named for a princess from local Native American myth.

Where? State College, Pennsylvania. It's near one of the state prisons; there's more than one joke about how hard it is to tell the difference between Penn State and the State Pen.

When? Saturday the 19th, versus Dayton in University Park.

Why? Because they put together a solid run in the Big Ten, but had enough flaws on their resume to drop to a 6.

How? They were an at-large selection from the Big Ten.


Surprise? That they did as well in the Big Ten season as they did, perhaps. Not that they're back in the tournament, though.

Who's driving this thing, anyway? Coquese Washington, since 2007. One of the only point guards I ever saw both Richie Adubato and Van Chancellor trust.

RPI: 32

SOS: 54

Record: 24-9 (11-5 Big Ten)

Best win: Dayton (A), Ohio State (H)

Worst loss: Drexel (H)

Notable results: Boston College (L, A, OT, 113-104), Texas Tech (W, H, 76-68)

Last year, the story was hotshot freshman guard Alex Bentley. In her sophomore season, Bentley's picked up a running mate in freshman guard Maggie Lucas, one of the top freshmen in the Big Ten. Lucas's 16.2 points lead the team, and her 43.8% three-point percentage means that Penn State is never out of the game. With only two juniors and a senior, this team is poised to make a run- and for the first time in a long time, a lot of people will be happy about that.  And strange things are known to happen at the Bryce Jordan Center...