Nebraska Basketball: Win By Facing Ohio State

By Brandon Cavanaugh
Terone Johnson
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Regardless of who won the pillow fight between the Ohio State Buckeyes and Purdue Boilermakers on Mar. 13, the Nebraska Cornhuskers were the ultimate victors. If No. 12 seed Purdue upended the Buckeyes, the Boilermakers were fresh meat being fed to the tiger that is Nebraska. If No. 5 Ohio State won, the Huskers had the opportunity to pad their March Madness resume.

Thanks to Purdue’s sloppy ball-handling, the Buckeyes get to play a well-rested Cornhusker squad.

The last time these two teams met, Nebraska dismissed the scarlet and gray from the Pinnacle Bank Arena. Aaron Craft and company obviously want to both get revenge and show that their struggles against Purdue were a fluke. Unfortunately, Ohio State has problems not unlike the Wisconsin Badgers did when facing Nebraska at The Vault.

Not in terms of talent, mind you. Much like the Badgers, the Buckeyes are securely in the NCAA tournament. The only question they’ll have answered come Selection Sunday is where they’re seeded. Nebraska’s done everything they need to receive a glossy invitation as well. However, knocking out a team with a No. 24 RPI ranking not only makes the Huskers a necessary selection, it makes their placement fun to play with.

For instance, what if they’re given a road to face the Creighton Bluejays? Surely, it’d be a long shot, but that’s what this time of the year is for. Doug McDermott gave the Big Red a black eye in Omaha. No doubt Tim Miles‘ crew would love a chance to return the favor by ending the Bluejays’ run for the title.

If Nebraska can topple Ohio State, they face the winner of the Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Michigan Wolverines tilt. Both teams dealt the Huskers their most recent loss, and the Wolverines are the only conference bunch that can claim a win on the Big Red’s home court. First thing’s first, bring on Thad Matta‘s boys.

Brandon Cavanaugh is a Big 10 writer for Follow him on Twitter @eightlaces, like his Facebook page and add him to your Google+ network.

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