It’s been a while since the Nebraska Cornhuskers defeated a top ten team on the road. Heck, they’d only beaten one this season (Northwestern). Fast forward to Feb 16 and suddenly Tim Miles has people outside of Lincoln, Neb. thinking that the Huskers could be a part of the 2014 NCAA Tournament.
Heading into Sunday’s game with the No. 9 Michigan State Spartans, Big Red fans wanted the upset. They pined for it. Perhaps more were just hoping not to see Terran Petteway and company not get ran out of the Breslin Student Events Center or even worse, a moral victory. What came out of the Huskers’ locker room wasn’t a team hoping to put up a fight, but a squad ready for one.
With Nebraska’s 60-51 win over the Spartans, a notion that was previously brushed aside as impossible became real: Miles’ team is officially on bubble watch.
The Huskers now hold a .500 record in conference play. They’re nearly flawless at home and slayed the Spartans in their friendly confines. Four more home games remain against Penn State, Purdue, Northwestern and Wisconsin — all teams Nebraska has more than enough talent to top.
Road games at Illinois and Indiana aren’t exactly intimidating, but Miles’ bunch can’t be lax when traveling down the home stretch. Currently on the second-best winning streak in the conference, the Big Red winning six straight games is about as likely as the victory over Michigan State. Not probable, but certainly possible if Nebraska wants it badly enough.
Miles can pull the fire out of his players like he did against Michigan State again. If he does so for the remainder of the regular season and into the conference tournament, Nebrasketball has a chance be featured in the Big Dance. Keep in mind this is only Miles’ second year as the Huskers’ head man.
Someone’s due for an extension and a rather large raise.