2011-12 Big Ten Schedule: Penn State

It's amazing what an NCAA Tournament bid can do. After qualifying for the big dance last season under departed head coach Ed DeChellis, Penn State have earned themselves a six pack of appearances on ESPN networks for their Big Ten campaign that starts in late Decemeber.

The Nittany Lions only return one starter from last year's squad, and although Tim Frazier did play some of his best basketball down the stretch last March, Penn State still has their work cut out. The Lions do have the benefit of playing four of the conference's toughest teams just one time, but they'll still be shorthanded in the experience department in almost every game they play. Hopefully a non-conference slate that includes showdowns versus Kentucky, Boston College and Ole Miss can help the young Lions grow up in a hurry.

Let's break it down!

Big Ten teams that Penn State only plays once

vs. Minnesota, vs. Illinois, at Ohio State, at Michigan State

This is the type of schedule that will help Penn State grow up slowly without too many poundings. It's a far cry from last year's schedule that had State skipping only Indiana and Iowa once apiece.

Big Ten games by day of the week

Tuesday: one

Wednesday: four

Thursday: four

Saturday: three

Sunday: six

This is actually a pretty big change for Penn State. The Big Ten is playing many more games on Sunday this season, as opposed to last year when teams played mostly on Saturday.

Big Ten games by TV coverage

Big Ten Network: 10

ESPN2: 2

ESPNU: 4

TBD: 2

There's a little more attention on Penn State now that they are fresh off of a tourney bid, but national audiences would have been better served getting to watch Talor Battle play last season. With four new starters and a new coach to boot, Penn State will look totally different from the 2010-11 team, and they probably will be less exciting without a star player to woo the crowd.

Hit the jump for the Big Ten portion of Penn State's schedule, complete with tip times and network coverage.

Thursday, December 29

at Michigan, 7:30 PM, BTN

 

Sunday, January 1

at Northwestern, 7:00 PM, ESPNU

 

Thursday, January 5

vs. Purdue, 8:00 PM, BTN

 

Sunday, January 8

vs. Indiana, Noon, BTN

 

Wednesday, January 11

at Nebraska, 8:30 PM, BTN

 

Sunday, January 15

vs. Minnesota, 4:00 PM, BTN

 

Thursday, January 19

vs. Illinois, 9:00 PM, ESPN2

 

Sunday, January 22

at Indiana, Noon, BTN

 

Wednesday, January 25

at Ohio State, 6:30 PM, BTN

 

Tuesday, January 31

vs. Wisconsin, 8:00 PM, BTN

 

Saturday, February 4

at Iowa, 3:00 PM, ESPNU

 

Wednesday, February 8

at Michigan State, 6:30 PM, BTN

 

Saturday, February 11

vs. Nebraska, 1:00 PM, ESPNU

 

Tuesday, February 16

vs. Iowa, 9:00 PM, ESPNU

 

Sunday, February 19

at Wisconsin, TBD, CBS or ESPN or BTN

 

Saturday, February 25

vs. Northwestern, 9:00 PM, ESPNU

 

Wednesday, February 29

at Purdue, 6:30 PM, BTN

 

Sunday, March 4

vs. Michigan, TBD, CBS or ESPN or BTN

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