Penn State had a simple message entering the Big Ten title game on Sunday: Empty the tank.

The Nittany Lions did, but fell short against Purdue, and later found out that they’ll face off against Texas A&M to open the NCAA Tournament.

“This team is a group of fighters,” Micah Shrewsberry said on the Big Ten Network. “They’ve played well together, they’ve played hard together. They’ve believed in each other, and when you do that, special things happen. We’ve been talking all season long of trying to do something special.”

Penn State came from trailing by 17 points to pull within a possession in the closing seconds.

“They always believed until the final horn, we were going to compete, and that’s why I’m so proud of these guys,” he said.

He recalled that 2011 was the last year the program reached the NCAA Tournament, even though 2020 was a likely possibility before the NCAA Tournament was called off.

“Hopefully they can latch on to what this team is doing and feel a part of this with us,” he said.