The Cornhuskers sit at 6-1, with a bad 14 point loss to Kent State. They have beaten Valparaiso, USC and Wake Forest. Although USC and Wake Forest are very much down this year, those wins still prove that Nebraska can at least beat the teams they should beat. The first step in rebuilding is beating the teams that are inferior to you. If you can’t beat them, sustainable winning is not possible. So, maybe USC and Wake Forest are not resume builder wins, but at this point the NCAA Tournament is not even on Nebraska’s radar. First, they must focus on getting wins and getting better.
This team has a lot of veterans, including senior, leading scorer Dylan Talley, who is averaging 16 points a game. Along side Talley, is big man senior Brandon Ubel, who has been very impressive in the post. This team is not full of talent, but they have enough quality players to not be bad. Nebraska seems like they will be the ultimate mediocre- to average team, enough to beat the weak, and lose to the good teams.
That is where tonight’s game against Creighton comes in. Creighton is ranked 16th in the country and is an in-state school for Nebraska. A win against them would be huge for Nebraska. It is the ultimate statement game, at home against a ranked team. Creighton is led by Doug McDermott, one of the best players in the country. He will be a lot for Nebraska to handle, along with a solid supporting cast. Tonight is an uphill battle for the Cornhuskers, no doubt.
If the Cornhuskers can pull off the upset tonight, they can show the rest of the Big Ten that maybe they are not the doormat everyone expects them to be. An NCAA Tournament bid might be out of reach for Nebraska, but being a consistently competitive team would be huge progress for this season. That can start tonight.