If there was any doubt that Tim Miles had the nation’s attention, it’s gone. Thanks to the Nebraska Cornhuskers‘ 70-60 road win over the Indiana Hoosiers, the Big Red is having Adidas dancing shoes made. You know, just in case. Spring football begins on Saturday in Lincoln, NE. Normally that’s cause for a few adult beverages to flow, but you’ll have to pardon Husker fans. They’re a little busy thanks to Miles Magic.
It’s a thrilling time to be a Nebrasketball fan. The final regular season home game versus the No. 9 Wisconsin Badgers will be the hottest ticket since one of last year’s football passes caught on fire. Wisconsin’s ranking should be intimidating to a team like Miles’. One that logically shouldn’t be where they are, that Big Ten media had no confidence in, one that was supposed to be “rebuilding”.
The Huskers’ head man has half-kiddingly (I think) chastised the fans for their lack of enthusiasm and hostility when showing up to the Pinnacle Bank Arena. The Badgers are all probably all swell guys, but they’re standing between the Huskers and destiny. Getting locked inside “The Vault” with quite probably the loudest crowd to ever grace its young halls is a pressure cooker-style situation.
This tightrope walk for Wisconsin is more precarious because of Terran Petteway. Not because of what he’s capable of, but that he’s not producing at the rate Nebraska fans became used to.
Let’s be blunt, the guy’s in a slump. However, Shavon Shields, Walter Pitchford and even all 5’9″ 166 pounds (soaking wet) of Benny Parker are all producing. Players are stepping up to take his place. This team proved it’s ready for the biggest of spotlights in Bloomington, IN.
Ratcheting up the intensity even more, the Badgers are in. They’re a part of the tournament. It sounds like a fun way to spend March and the Big Red wants to join them in the worst way.
You want drama? On Mar 9 at 6:30 PM CST, one of two things will happen.
Wisconsin becomes the second Big Ten team to eek out a win on the Huskers’ home floor. The air goes out of the Big Red balloon. The bubble may pop and Nebraska’s chances of being a part of March Madness almost completely disappear. Creighton Bluejays fans laugh and laugh and laugh.
Then there’s the scenario that nobody, maybe not even Miles himself saw coming. That’s saying a great deal as the man is an extreme optimist, if nothing else.
His Huskers win and kick down the door to the ballroom that hosts the Big Dance. Balloons fall from the rafters as the court’s stormed, the foundation shakes and Lincoln becomes a basketball town, if only for a moment.
No pressure, Badgers. No pressure at all.