You can hear a replay of the Nittany Nation Big Dance Sidecast in the story below.

(WTAJ) — Penn State basketball is making history by returning to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament for the first time since 2011. 


Penn State defeats Texas A&M 76-59 and will move on to play second-seeded Texas on Saturday. The Nittany Lions will take on Longhorns at 7:45 p.m. on WTAJ.

With just 2:10 left, Penn State is sending their starters to the bench as they lead 74-56 and will be sending the Aggies home.

With just 7:41 left, Penn State has stretched their lead to 66-43. Andrew Funk is leading the Nittany Lions with 24 points, shooting 7-8 from three.

With just under 12 minutes left in the second half Penn State leads 59-36 as they continue to dominate against the Aggies. As long as the Nittany Lions hold on to this lead, they’ll be advancing to the round of 32 with a matchup against second-seeded Texas waiting for them Saturday.

Through the first half, Penn State leads Texas A&M 38-22. The Nittany Lions are shooting lights out from three in the first half, making 6 of 9. Penn State is led by Funk, who has 15 points. Jalen Pickett had nine in the first half along with six assists.

Penn State is beating the Aggies at their own game, getting to the free-throw line. PSU is 6 of 7 while A&M is just 3 of 5.

The Game

The game tipped of Thursday at 10:16 p.m. on TBS. While you continue to watch the game, follow along with Andrew Clay, Anderley Penwell and former Nittany Lion great John Harrar. It’s the Nittany Nation Big Dance Sidecast. The crew will discuss Penn State’s game against Texas A&M as it’s happening and get insight from a Nittany Lion legend, one Micah Shrewsberry himself credited for this year’s success. 

It’s Penn States’ first meeting with Texas A&M since 2017. The Nittany Lions are 0-3 all-time against the Aggies. Both teams are 8-2 in their last ten and come off conference championship losses.

The Players
Penn State is led by Jalen Pickett whose historic 18 points-per-game,  7 rebounds and 7 assist-per-game gave the program its first All-American since the 1950s. The Nittany Lions’ shooting is their specialty, guards Andrew Funk and Seth Lundy both led the Big Ten in three-point percentage, and three-point-shots made. Texas A&M is led by guards Wade Taylor and Tyrece Radford. Radford was a second-team All-SEC selection.

The History
Penn State basketball returns to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2011. The Nittany Lions are 9-11 all-time in the tournament but haven’t won a game in more than 20 years. The Nittany Lions upset of North Carolina in 2001 was the team’s last tournament win and the only time the team has made it out of the first weekend since the field expanded to 64 teams.