Dienhart: What Huskers need for NCAA bid

Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Dienhart: What Huskers need for NCAA bid

There hasn’t been a better story in the Big Ten this season than Nebraska. The Cornhuskers were projected by most to finish in the bottom half of the Big Ten. Why not? Questions abounded for a team that went 15-18 overall and 5-13 in the Big Ten last season. Now, the Huskers may be sitting squarely on the NCAA bubble. Let’s take a look at Nebraska’s resume.

Nebraska’s stat leaders
Points: T. Petteway 17.7
Rebounds: S. Shields 5.4
Assists: T. Webster 2.2
FG%: T. Petteway 44.4%
FT%: T. Petteway 81.8%
3P%: T. Petteway 37.0%
Steals: D. Biggs 1.0
Blocks: L. Smith 0.8

Numbers are from realtimerpi.com.

  • Record: 14-10 overall; 6-6 Big Ten
  • Strength of schedule: 21
  • RPI: 52
  • Projected record: 18-12; 10-8
  • Quality wins: Georgia (No. 88 RPI); Ohio State (14); Minnesota (46); Indiana (97); Illinois (87); Michigan State (13)
  • Bad losses: UAB (158); Purdue (124); Penn State (108)
  • Big games left: at Illinois; at Indiana; Wisconsin

Bottom line: This is one of the hottest team in the Big Ten, winning three in a row and five of six games. And to think: Nebraska started Big Ten play 0-4. The turnaround has been remarkable. Credit the defense, along with the play of Terran Petteway. Most pundits think if the Cornhuskers can arrive in Indianapolis for the Big Ten tourney with 10 conference wins, they will punch their ticket to the Big Dance with just one win in the league postseason event. But Nebraska may end any NCAA debate by winning out.

It’s true; the Cornhuskers could do it, which would make them 12-6 in the Big Ten. That no doubt would put Nebraska into March Madness, right? The Huskers must guard against suffering any bad losses down the stretch as they search for the program’s first NCAA bid since 1998 under second-year coach Tim Miles. Oh by the way: Nebraska never has won an NCAA game, going 0-6 all-time.


About Tom Dienhart BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men’s basketball for BTN.com and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at btn.com/tomdienhart, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

And if you want to leave a comment on this post, use the box below. All comments need to be approved by a moderator.


BTN Plus on BTN2Go

BTN Plus on BTN2Go

all times ET
4:59 PMDenver at Michigan St.Watch
6:05 PMMichigan St. at Ohio St.Watch
6:26 PMHoosier HysteriaWatch
7:00 PMIndiana at PurdueWatch
7:01 PMMaryland at Rutgers Watch
7:04 PMPenn St. at MichiganWatch
7:08 PMNebraska at Rutgers Watch
8:00 PMPurdue at IllinoisWatch

Watch hundreds of live non-televised Big Ten events via BTN Plus on BTN2Go.