Jim Ferry: Penn State "Will Absolutely Play In The NIT If Invited"

By Vincent Lungaro on March 12, 2021 at 12:53 pm
Feb 23, 2021; Lincoln, Nebraska, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions head coach Jim Ferry signals his team in the game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the second half at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Steven Branscombe/USA TODAY Sports
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Penn State's rollercoaster of a season might not be done just yet. 

After the team's 75-74 loss to Wisconsin on Thursday and subsequent exit from the Big Ten Tournament, interim head coach Jim Ferry said he hopes the Nittany Lions (11-14) can continue playing in a postseason tournament of some sort.

Asked if Penn State would accept an invite to the 16-team NIT, Ferry said "absolutely" it would.

While the size of the NIT is smaller than its normal 32-team format this year, the tournament will not automatically select regular-season conference champions who failed to win their conference tournament and didn't otherwise receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.

With one of the toughest strength of schedules in the country in one of the toughest conferences in the country, Penn State's resume makes a good case for an invite, albeit with a record that sits below .500.

Entering Friday, the Nittany Lions were still ranked 36th by KenPom and have a NET ranking of 42.

Even with athletic director Sandy Barbour's well-publicized goal of wanting to hire a new coach immediately upon the conclusion of the season, it's hard to envision Penn State turning down a bid to the NIT should one come its way given the effort the players and staff have put into this challenging season.

We'll find out whether Ferry and the Lions hear their names called during the NIT selection show at 8:30 p.m. on Sunday. It will be televised on ESPNU.

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