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B1G Tourney Preview | Semi-Final Saturday, The Lower Half

The Hoosiers of Indiana and the Nittany Lions of Penn State square off for a trip to the B1G Tourney Finals.

NCAA Basketball: Indiana at Penn State Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Indiana Hoosiers will take on the Penn State Nittany Lions in the second semi-final game in the B1G Tourney at the United Center. The two teams squared off just once during the regular season where Penn State won 85-66 behind Andre Funk’s 23 points and Seth Lundy’s 25 points. All B1G Guard Jalen Pickett only scored 12 points but provided 5 rebounds and 8 total assists in a game that saw Indiana shoot only 4/14 from behind the arc and just 44% from the field. In short, Penn State used their outside shooting to force Indiana into playing out of their comfort zone by going 18/31 from being the arc (58%).

Penn State has now won two straight games in the conference tourney and is a lock to head into Selection Sunday as one of the last four byes and a 10 seed, according to ESPN’s Joe Lunardi (Rutgers also joins that group from the B1G). Micah Shrewsberry’s team is led by Jalen Pickett who averages 17.8 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 7 assists on the season and supported by Seth Lundy’s 14.1 points and Andrew Funk’s 12.3 points. Where Penn State can really make it difficult for opponent’s is from behind the arc where they shoot 38.9% as a team, which is 10th best in the country.

The Indiana Hoosiers are led by fellow All B1G selection Trayce Jackson-Davis who, if not for Zach Edey’s massive season, would have been conference player of the year and squarely in the conversation for national player of the year. The senior is averaging 20.7 points, 10.9 rebounds, and 4 assists and is likely a first team All American as well. The Hoosiers have also gotten incredible support of late from freshman Jalen Hood-Schifino who is averaging 17.4 points over the last 9 games. That type of scoring duo from the wing makes it incredible difficult to defend the set shooting of Miller Kopp and Trey Galloway who are both 45% shooters on the season from behind the arc.

This is a great matchup and one that if Penn State can come out and hit their shots early to put pressure on Indiana to play catchup, goes in favor of Penn State. With Jalen Pickett seemingly waiting to have another massive game after being just ‘ok’ over the last few, I think he is the difference in this game.

Penn State: 73
Indiana: 72