Penn State Vs. Notre Dame Tonight In NIT Semi-FInal

ronald weintraubContributor IMarch 31, 2009

NEW YORK - MARCH 11: Kyle McAlarney #23 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish shoots the ball against the West Virginia Mountaineers during the second round of the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 11, 2009 in New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

The NIT semi-final matchup between Penn State and Notre Dame is slated for 9 p.m. tonight.

It will be one of the best matchups of the year for both teams, a rematch of the 2000 NIT semi-final where Notre Dame won 73-52. At least 12,000 are expected at Madison Square Garden.

Penn State students will be there in droves (at least 16 buses) to rally in the theatre lobby at 6:30 p.m. as their school plays in its fifth NIT semi-final appearance. Fans are welcome to join the rally only if they have a ticket to the game. There is no re-entry into the Garden if anyone leaves after the rally.

Notre Dame (21-14) and Penn State (25-11) are both No. 2 seeds in the tournament. The winner advances to the final against the winner of the Baylor/San Diego game. Tonight's contest will be televised on ESPN2.