While I cannot say that I called it, I did notice that this Nebraska squad plays teams, tough! I am excited for the Cornhuskers fanbase. Nebraska still has much to prove, as the non-conference was not too impressive. In fact, by looking at its non-conference schedule, Nebraska would hardly make the NIT-cut. However, late in the Big 10 season, this team is going on a win-streak. I want to look ahead, and see what they would have to do to become tourney-worthy. “Tourney-worthy? Has anyone ever said that?”
Let us bring out the boring stats that will ultimately make Nebraska look like a solid NIT-team at this point in the season:
Losses, from “not bad” to “bad” to “terrible” according to RPI:
@ Creighton (7), @ Cincinnati (14), Michigan (17), @ Michigan (17), Massachusetts (18), @ Iowa (30), @ Purdue (106), @ Penn State (107), UAB (166)
Quality wins and “alright” wins:
Ohio State (16), @ Michigan State (19), Minnesota (33), Georgia (85), Illinois (86), Indiana (100)
It seems that at this juncture, the negatives outweigh the positives. Nebraska has beaten some quality teams, but then it has losses against some bad/terrible teams. However, this “terrible” team called “UAB” has defeated UNC, another team making a late-season run. “No tangents!”
Hope is lost lost in my eyes, though. Nebraska has, perhaps, the easiest rest of conference schedule until it hosts Wisconsin on March 9th. This can be good for them to build upon the Win column, but it could also (obviously) hurt them if any Losses are to occur!
What does this team have to do, then? Can it lose any games, and still receive an at-large bid? The Bubble seems to still be wide-open, as plenty of teams are up and down. Nebraska has a legitimate chance of bursting some teams bubbles on its way to The Big Dance!
Here is Nebraska’s upcoming schedule, and for no reason at all (for fun actually… I’m doing it for fun), I am going to mark the game with a Win or Loss:
Penn State – Win 15-10
Purdue – Win 16-10
@ Illinois – Win 17-10
Northwestern – Win 18-10
@ Indiana – Win 19-10
Wisconsin – Loss 19-11
Most likely, this is an NIT team. I am going to go a step further, and say that Nebraska picks up a couple of quality wins in the Big 10 tournament. Say, “a win against Michigan and a win against Ohio State. Done.” I would throw Nebraska into the field for sure, but then, what do I know!
Nebraska’s streak could be snapped or move forward with a game on the 20th against Penn State. It will be an interesting February and March, to say the least. Several teams are on the same boat, so Nebraska better find ways to win most or win out, and make a run in the Big 10 Tournament! Let me know what you think in the comments, and send me a tweet @TristanYT.