Ohio State Basketball vs. Penn State: Preview and prediction

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It's an exciting brand of basketball coupled with defense and rebounding that's brought Penn State to this point, one where Thursday's 8 p.m. tip in the Bryce Jordan Center against No. 8 Ohio State (22-5, 13-1) will play out in front of a White-Out crowd.

Heading into the first Ohio State game, the Nittany Lions were stuck in neutral at 3-5 in Big Ten play.

The Buckeyes entered a half game up on No. 2 Michigan State in the Big Ten standings and a 1 ½ ahead of No. 6 Purdue with the head-to-head tiebreaker over both. Lunardi has Penn State as the sixth team outside of the bracket at the moment, behind Nebraska, Washington, Syracuse, Baylor and Boise State. The Ohio State forward was held to just 10 points - well below his season average of almost 20 points a game.

With the victory, Penn State now has two quality wins on their tournament resume, both courtesy of Ohio State.

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He'll need to be on his game as he likely will be guarding Ohio State's Keita Bates-Diop, the favorite to win the Big Ten Player of the Year award.

"We really have a hard time guarding him", Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann said. While Penn State will play OSU tough on their home floor, they can not expect to see the same results from deep they saw three weeks ago when they defeated Ohio State 82-79.

The hosts shut down the Ohio State attack, holding the Buckeyes to just 21 first-half points on their way to a 45-21 halftime lead.

Penn State (18-9, 8-6) downed Iowa by 24 points earlier this month and trounced IL last weekend on the road, 74-52.

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Northwestern still wields one of the most experienced starting units in the Big Ten, led by senior two-guard Scottie Lindsey, who leads the Wildcats in scoring and averages better than 14 points per contest. But that was going to be true regardless of how the teams played on Thursday night. But with three road games in the last four, there are certainly plenty of potential road blocks along the way.

Fast forward to Thursday night where Penn State got off to a fantastic start and never looked back.

During his first three years there often wasn't a whole lot to cheer for as Chambers stressed the importance of rebuilding the program and then brought in some close friends of Garner's in the highly-touted Philadelphia trio of Carr, Lamar Stevens and Nazeer Bostick.

In all, Ohio State said in a release that it approved a total of $3.4 million in additional compensation for returning staff.

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