UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa., November, 2011 – Highlighted by five non-conference matchups against NCAA tournament teams from a season ago, second-year head coach Jeff Tambroni of Penn State has announced the squad’s 2012 schedule. During their 99th season of play, the Nittany Lions will face a challenging 14-game slate, including eight home contests in Happy Valley.
“Our staff is excited about the 2012 schedule as it will provide our program with a chance to compete against several of the nation’s best teams from start to finish,” said Tambroni. “We were able to complement our CAA schedule, which is a competitive league from top to bottom, with five 2011 NCAA playoff teams. We’re also excited about playing Big Ten rivals Ohio State and, for the first time ever, Michigan. The competitive native of our schedule has kept our team focused during the offseason, and we are well aware of the challenges that await us this spring.”
The Nittany Lions will play five of their eight non-conference games against teams that qualified for the 2011 NCAA tournament, beginning with North Carolina in a season-opening matchup in Atlanta, Ga., Feb. 11.
Penn State will also travel to Notre Dame, which advanced to the NCAA second round, Feb. 26 before beginning a three-game homestand against national semifinalist Denver March 10. The Nittany Lions will also welcome Bucknell (March 27) and Villanova (March 31), both of which participated in the NCAA tournament.
Penn State will also host non-conference matchups against Michigan (Feb. 18), which will play its first season at the NCAA Division I level in 2012, and Lehigh (March 20). The Nittany Lions will also travel to Columbus, Ohio, for a contest against Ohio State March 3.
In their first CAA game of the season, the Nittany Lions will look to avenge last season’s league semifinal loss when Massachusetts visits March 17. Penn State will also welcome Delaware (April 21) and Hofstra (April 28), and will visit St. Joseph’s (March 24), Drexel (April 7) and Towson (April 14).
Following the regular season, the CAA’s top-four teams will advance to the league playoffs, with the semifinals (May 3) and final (May 5) being held at each matchup’s higher seed. The winner of the CAA tournament title will earn the conference’s automatic bid into the NCAA tournament.