I was asked to write the annual Penn State's Pat Chambers. Here's what I wrote about him at the time:piece for CBS Sports back in October. Among the seven coaches listed was
"I'm skeptical anybody could do much better than Pat Chambers has done at Penn State, which is one of the toughest jobs in power-conference basketball. But how many power-conference coaches could miss the NCAA Tournament in nine straight years and return for a 10th? That's what Chambers will be up against if he doesn't march the Nittany Lions into the Big Dance this season. In a perfect world, he'll get there and make his administration's decision to bring him back an easy one. Because my guess is that Penn State's next coach probably won't be as successful as its current coach."
Looking back, that still seems like a fair assessment of Chambers' situation heading into this season. He'd made Penn State respectable and generally done a nice job -- but history does show that power-conference coaches rarely get a 10th year without making the NCAA Tournament at least once in the previous nine. So it was reasonable to suggest Chambers needed to break through to feel safe.
Update: Pat Chambers has broken through.
Mike Watkins got 19 points and 10 rebounds off the bench, and Lamar Stevens added 16 points and five assists, in Penn State's 88-76 victory at Purdue on Tuesday. The win extended the Nittany Lions' winning streak to seven games, which doubles as Penn State's longest Big Ten winning streak in school history.
This was also Penn State's first win at Mackey Arena since 2006.
"It's taken me a long time, nine years, to finally get one here," Chambers said with a smile afterward. "That's a long time."
With the win, Penn State is now 19-5 overall and alone in second in the Big Ten standings with a 9-4 league mark. So the Nittany Lions remained No. 12 in Wednesday morning's updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings. Their next game is Saturday against Northwestern.
Top 25 And 1 rankings
|Drew Timme got 20 points and 10 rebounds off the bench in Saturday's 90-60 victory at Saint Mary's. The Zags' 17-game winning streak features 13 double-digit victories.||--||15-0|
|MaCio Teague finished with 11 points and eight rebounds in Monday's 52-45 win at Texas. The Bears' 21-game winning streak features victories over Kansas, Villanova and Butler.||--||14-0|
San Diego St
|Matt Mitchell finished with 22 points and 12 rebounds in Tuesday's 82-59 victory over New Mexico. The Aztecs are 25-0 for the first time in school history.||--||11-4|
|Devon Dotson finished with 18 points and 11 assists in Saturday's 60-46 victory at TCU. The Jayhawks will take an eight-game winning streak into Wednesday's game at West Virginia.||--||10-5|
|Jordan Nwora finished with 22 points and seven rebounds in Saturday's 80-73 victory over Virginia. The Cardinals will take a 10-game winning streak into Wednesday's game at Georgia Tech.||--||10-3|
|Obi Toppin finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds in Tuesday's 81-67 victory over Rhode Island. Both of the Flyers' losses came in overtime to schools also ranked in the Top 25 And 1.||--||8-4|
|Jalen Smith finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds in Tuesday's 72-70 victory over Nebraska. The Terrapins will take a seven-game winning streak into Saturday's game with Michigan State.||--||9-7|
|Tre Jones finished with 13 points and six assists in Monday's 70-65 victory over Florida State. The Blue Devils will take a five-game winning streak into Saturday's game with Notre Dame.||--||5-5|
|Sandro Mamukelashvili finished with 17 points and eight rebounds in Saturday's 70-64 victory at Villanova. The Pirates have a three-game lead in the Big East standings with just seven regular-season games remaining.||--||9-6|
|The Seminoles missed 15 of the 18 3-pointers they attempted in Monday's 70-65 loss at Duke. Florida State is 3-2 in its past five games.||--||9-2|
|Samir Doughty made five 3-pointers and finished with 26 points in Saturday's 91-90 overtime victory over LSU. Auburn is 10-2 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities with zero losses outside of the first quadrant.||--||9-7|
|Mike Watkins got 19 points and 10 rebounds off the bench in Tuesday's 88-76 victory at Purdue. Penn State will take a seven-game winning streak in Saturday's game at Northwestern.||--||5-6|
|Tyler Bey finished with 11 points and 12 rebounds in Saturday's 81-74 victory over Stanford. The Buffaloes are 10-5 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities with zero losses coming outside of the first two quadrants.||--||12-4|
|Tyrese Maxey made three 3-pointers and finished with 25 points in Tuesday's 78-64 victory at Vanderbilt. The Wildcats are 7-1 in their past eight games with the lone loss in that stretch coming at Auburn.||--||5-9|
|The Mountaineers shot 31.6% from the field in Saturday's 69-59 loss at Oklahoma. West Virginia is just 4-3 in its past seven games with all three losses coming to currently unranked teams.||--||11-4|
|Markus Howard made three 3-pointers and finished with 17 points in Sunday's 76-57 victory over Butler. Marquette is 6-1 in its past seven games with the lone loss in that stretch coming in overtime at Butler.||--||8-7|
|The Wildcats missed 18 of the 27 3-pointers they attempted in Saturday's 70-64 loss to Seton Hall. Villanova will take a three-game losing streak into Wednesday's game with Marquette.||--||10-1|
|The Bulldogs missed 16 of the 20 3-pointers they attempted in Sunday's 76-57 loss at Marquette. Butler is 3-5 in its past eight games with multiple losses to sub-50 KenPom teams.||--||5-7|
|Denzel Mahoney got 18 points off the bench in Saturday's 94-82 victory over St. John's. The Bluejays are 5-1 in their past six games with the lone loss in that stretch coming at Providence.||--||11-4|
|Joe Wieskamp finished with 30 points and seven rebounds in Saturday's 96-72 victory over Nebraska. The Hawkeyes are 6-2 in their past eight games with the only losses in that stretch coming at Maryland and Purdue.||--||12-3|
|Payton Pritchard missed seven of the eight 3-pointers he attempted in Saturday's 63-53 loss at Oregon State. The Ducks will take a two-game losing streak into Thursday's game with Colorado.||--||9-3|
|Skylar Mays finished with 23 points and five rebounds in Tuesday's 82-78 victory over Missouri. LSU is 9-1 in the SEC and tied with Auburn and Kentucky in the loss column atop the league standings.||--||10-4|
|Quentin Grimes finished with 14 points, six rebounds and five assists in Sunday's 76-43 victory over Wichita State. The Cougars are 7-1 in their past eight games with the lone loss in that stretch coming at Cincinnati.||1||13-1|
|Zavier Simpson made four 3-pointers and finished with 16 points in Saturday's 77-68 victory over Michigan State. The win doubled as Michigan's sixth Quadrant 1 win.||1||13-1|
|Xavier Tillman finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds in Tuesday's 70-69 victory at Illinois. Only one of Michigan State's eight losses has come outside of the first quadrant.||NR||8-4|
|Yoeli Childs finished with 32 points and six rebounds in Saturday's 90-76 victory over San Francisco. The Cougars are 11-2 with Childs in the lineup.||--||13-3|