Looking back at the last time Penn State was in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament

Penn State’s NCAA Tournament drought nearly ended in 2020, but a global pandemic had other plans. As a result, Penn State’s last men’s basketball tournament appearance remains a one-and-done 2011 appearance in which it lost to Temple in the closing seconds.

Fast forward to 2023 and All-American Jalen Pickett and head coach Micah Shrewsberry have ended the drought with a clutch run in the Big Ten Tournament to secure an at-large opportunity in the Big Dance.

A lot has happened since the last time Penn State was in the NCAA Tournament. Here is a look at what was going on the last time Penn State participated in March Madness in March 2011.

UConn wins NCAA title over Butler

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Looking for another connection to Penn State’s stretch between NCAA Tournament appearances? How about this? The last time Penn State was in the tournament, the UConn Huskies won it all. They beat Butler, who had Micah Shrewsberry as an assistant coach.

The baksetball world is introduced to TruTV

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In 2011, the NCAA Tournament was in its first year of an expanded broadcast plan with CBS. It included full-game broadcasts on TBS, TNT and TruTV. If you weren’t already hooked on countless reruns of “Impractical Jokers,” then the annual ritual of locating TruTV on the TV became a common development across the country.

James Franklin was just getting started as Vanderbilt's head coach

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The last time Penn State played an NCAA men’s basketball tournament game, current head football coach of the Nittany Lions James Franklin had not yet made his head coaching debut. Franklin had been hired to be the head coach of Vanderbilt in December 2010 and was going through his first spring with the Commodores.

The average price for a gallon of gas

Bucks County Courier Times

Gas prices have been pretty high for a while now, especially in Pennsylvania. And as it turns out, gas prices were not exactly a bargain the last time Penn State was in the NCAA Tournament either. The average price for a gallon of gas in the United States in March 2011 ranged from $3.87 to $3.93.

There were only four 'Fast and the Furious' movies

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It may be hard to believe now, but there were only four movies in the “Fast and the Furious” saga the last time Penn State went to the Big Dance. “Fast Five” was released later that year, and more movies in the franchise have been released since 2011 than prior to Penn State’s last NCAA Tournament appearance.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe consisted of just Iron Man and the Hulk

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Since we are on the topic of billion-dollar movie franchises, Penn State’s last tournament appearance came before the official theatrical introduction to Thor and Captain America, and long before we saw Black Panther, Ant-Man, and the Guardians of the Galaxy on the big screen. At the time of Penn State’s last appearance, there were two Iron Man movies and one forgettable Hulk movie. With the latest release in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there are 31 movies and a growing number of television or streaming series to go alongside it.

Charlie Sheen was fired from 'Two and a Half Men'

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Charlie Sheen certainly had an interesting 2011 that included being removed from the hit television series “Two and a Half Men.” He probably drank a little too much tiger blood.

Lady Gaga sat No. 1 on the Billboard charts

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Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” was sitting on top of the Billboard charts when Penn State last went dancing. The song had already set a record for fastest-selling single on iTunes and was the 1,000th song to be a No. 1 single in Billboard history.

Nintendo releases the 3DS

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The last great portable handheld video gaming system of its kind was released in 2011 when Nintendo brought the 3DS to stores. The 3DS released in North America, Europe, and Australia in late March 2011 following its debut in Japan in January 2011.

The Phillies were loaded with pitching

The Phillies are coming off an appearance in the World Series last fall, and they were a World Series contender in 2011 with one of the best starting rotations assembled that season. The five aces (or four aces and Joe Blanton) were featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated leading up to the season after the team acquired Cliff Lee in the offseason.

Saquon Barkley was still in junior high

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One of the top football players to come through Penn State this century was barely a blip on the radar as far as the recruiting process is concerned. [autotag]Saquon Barkley[/autotag], one of the key recruits to Penn State’s Class of 2015, was just finishing up his final year of middle school and had not yet stepped on a high school football field.

Penn State’s running backs at the time? [autotag]Evan Royster[/autotag] and [autotag]Silas Redd[/autotag].

Story originally appeared on Nittany Lions Wire