Bracketology: Charting Penn State Basketball's Projected NCAA Tournament Seed (03.05.20)

By Craig Fritz on March 5, 2020 at 1:30 pm
Penn State Guard Myreon Jones
Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports
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It's been a rough stretch for Penn State basketball, but with 21 wins, the Lions are a lock for the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2011. Now the work to determine the seed line begins. 

According to our favorite March Madness prognostication site, The Bracket Matrix, The Nittany Lions are a 5 seed on the average of 86 compiled bracket projections (updated 3/4). 

While this is a tumble from the 2 and 3 seed lines we saw a few weeks ago, it's still a position from where Penn State can do some serious damage in March. Add to that the likelihood of a couple more wins, and Pat Chambers' team can hopefully enter the bracket on a bit of a surge and with at least 23 wins.

Bracket Matrix Breakdown
seed # of brackets
4 15
5 45
6 21
7 4
8 1

As a bonus this week, we're also looking at seeding for the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis, which starts next Wednesday. Penn State has secured a single bye, and will start it's tourney on Thursday. According to this spreadsheet of remaining conference scenarios (opens Google Sheet), the Lions can finish anywhere between the 5th and 8th seed. The 5th or 6th seed are the most likely (178 scenarios for 5th, 228 scenarios for 6th, 178 scenarios for 7th, 2 scenarios for 8th), and with a win on Saturday against Northwestern, Penn State can only be 5th or 6th.

That means a win in Evanston guarantees another game against a bottom-four seed, which might be exactly what the Lions need to get back on track. Win that, and the next game would be a Friday game against the 3 or 4 seed. 

Notable brackets:

  • Joe Lunardi/ESPN - 4 seed vs. North Texas in Sacramento (last updated 3/2)
  • Jerry Palm/CBS - 4 seed vs. Liberty in Spokane (last updated 3/5)
  • Chris Dobbertean/SBNation - 5 seed vs. Liberty in Spokane (last updated 3/2)
  • Tim Krueger/Stadium - 5 seed vs. Stanford/Richmond in Omaha (last updated 3/2)
  • Mike DeCourcy/FOX Sports - 4 seed vs. New Mexico State (last updated 3/2)
  • Mike Lazarus/Yahoo Sports - 5 seed (last updated 3/4)
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