Now that everyone is off the court at the Devaney Center, it’s time to discuss the significance of the biggest upset of the conference season.
Or at least the biggest upset since Monday night.Nebraska is 18-8, 6-6 in the Big 12. The Huskers beat Texas on Saturday by hitting 47% of their shots. Note that they didn’t make many three-pointers, and their 18 for 25 freet throw shooting was satisfactory but not outstanding.
They got the ball to Jorge Brian Diaz, who had 11 points, and fellow big man Andre Almeida hit all five shots he took. An inability to find easy shots has hurt teams like Oklahoma State and Kansas State all season, but today Nebraska figured it out.
The Huskers have won three straight games. Their remaining four before the league tournament:
Kansas State, @ Iowa State, Missouri, @ Colorado
Kansas State, too, is playing for its at-large viability. Nebraska didn’t get its offense going in a 69-53 loss at Bramlage earlier in the year. Iowa State has only won one conference game this year, but seems to give everyone a tough game in Ames. Nebraska beat the Cyclones by one way back at the start of conference play.
The Huskers have a reasonable chance to beat Missouri if they utilize their big men as well as they did today. Missouri’s frontcourt is relatively thin, with only two consistently effective inside scorers. As they often did in football, the Huskers face Colorado in the season finale. They handled the Buffs at home earlier this year, but Alec Burks and Cory Higgins can be tough to contain, and Levi Knutson isn’t a bad player, either.
Of these four opponents, the stronger two come to Lincoln, while the weaker two host Nebraska. In its last year in the league before going to the Big Ten, Nebraska has been able to slow the pace of games down against weak teams and strong teams.
Some credit goes to coach Doc Sadler, who has had trouble getting the Nebraska program to the top half of the Big 12. Perhaps this year Nebraska can
With three wins in the following four games, Nebraska would have a very winnable first round game in the Big 12 tournament, and might just be in position for an at-large NCAA selection. The Huskers last played in the tournament in 1998.