One would assume that every student at Penn State is excited about the Nittany Lions reaching the NCAA tournament.
After all, 10th-seeded Penn State (19-14) will make its first tourney appearance since 2001 when it faces No. 7 seed Temple (25-7) in a West Region second-round game Thursday in Tucson, Ariz.
But, some PSU students, perhaps playfully, complained to the Lions Monday that their at-large bid denied more deserving teams a tourney appearance.
“I was like then, ‘Why do you go to this school, then?' ” Penn State forward Jeff Brooks said. “I don’t understand it.
“I don’t know, there’s always doubters out there for anybody that plays a sport. It’s nothing we can do about that. It was weird, though, I’m not going to lie. It was weird.”
Perhaps, the weirdest part for Brooks came when he passed a male student Monday wearing a Temple sweatshirt.
“And he said something to me,” Brooks said. “I just gave him a little chuckle like ‘Well, we will just see what happens on Thursday.’
“Hopefully, it’s just like friendly chatter about the game from people who go to the school from other places in Pennsylvania.”
Randall’s plea: Scootie Randall is doing his best to convince Temple coach Fran Dunphy he’s ready to play.
The Owls swingman participated in his first practice Monday, after missing the last seven games with a hairline fracture in his right foot. Wearing a protective pad on top of his sneaker, Randall participated in half-court drills. He showed great movement and kept yelling out defensive instructions to teammates.
“I’m battling with coach to get out there and play,” Randall said. “I think I did a great job on the court and off the court when I didn’t do certain up-and-down drills …
“I think me and coach are coming together. And I think he will let me play.”
National Bracket Day: Monday marked Turner Sports' National Bracket Day. It was a day designated to celebrating the NCAA tournament and to urge fans to fill out brackets before the first round of the tourney begins Tuesday. As a result, brackets were distributed on several college campuses in Philadelphia Monday. Breakdowns of each region were also available online via NCAA.com, SI.com and CBSSports.com.
- Keith Pompey