With 23 games down, Nebraska (13-10, 5-6) is already looking like a potential force to be reckoned with in the future. Couple that with the tournament talk that’s begun about the Huskers — not just where they could be seeded in the NIT, but gaining entrance to the Big Dance. Thanks to Tim Miles‘ tutelage, barring a last-minute tip-in that wasn’t, no Big 10 team has this season defeated his squad at home.
Yes, it’s a long shot and the Big Red would need a few breaks, but that Miles’ program is even being suggested as an NCAA tournament participant speaks volumes about his coaching ability. Upon Miles’ hire, many fans felt that Nebraska actually being a part of March Madness, let alone winning its first game ever in the playoff, was a good goal by season three. Miles clearly isn’t a patient man when it comes to success.
Last Tuesday, he stated that the goal for his team was simple — a .500 record in Big 10 play and no less than nine wins. Following their 67-58 win over Illinois (14-11, 3-9), if they maintain their current level of play, they’ll easily reach those nine wins.
Nebraska fans can thank the city of Lincoln for the shimmering new palace that the Big Red calls home. They can thank Terran Petteway or Shevon Shields for their play, but they’re only pieces of the puzzle to Nebraska basketball’s resurgence.
The fist-pumping, halftime-tweeting head coach who wears pit stains proudly and smiles more often than not during postgame press conferences. That’s the guy to credit.
The NCAA committee more than likely won’t be looking at the Huskers’ resume to possibly place on the Big Dance’s bubble. However, Nebraska’s setting up for a deep run into the NIT if nothing else. That the Huskers could even be a part of March Madness, that the notion has gone from an absurdity to outside chance in less than two years, is astounding.
Obviously the season needs to end first, but Miles is setting himself up for a nice, long stay in Lincoln. Once he gets that first NCAA victory (and he will get it), don’t be surprised when Husker fans start clamoring for both an extension and a hefty pay raise.