WHO: Nebraska Cornhuskers (15-8, 6-4 B1G) | KenPom #63
WHEN: 7:07 PM CT
WHERE: Pinnacle Bank Arena (Lincoln, NE)
RADIO: Learfield Sports affiliates
ONLINE AUDIO: TuneIn
VEGAS: Nebraska -3.5
Life in the Big Ten has not been kind for Nebrasketball. They've finished with a sub-.500 overall record in five of six seasons since joining the league and their overall record in Big Ten regular season games entering tonight is 43-75. They've finished with a winning overall record -- and winning Big Ten record -- just once, in 2014 (19-11 overall in the regular season, 11-7 in the Big Ten), though they did make the NCAA Tournament that year. That year looks like an outlier, though, as they followed that up with 13-17 (5-13) in 2015, 14-17 (6-12) in 2016, and 12-18 (6-12) last year. That run of bad results put Tim Miles squarely on the hot seat entering his sixth year in charge.
To his credit, though, Miles has Nebraska in the midst of a solid bounce-back year. They're 15-8 overall and 6-4 in league play through ten games. They've only won more than six Big Ten games once in their history (2014), but they're poised to add to that mark with their next league win. They went 9-4 in non-conference play and while their best was probably Boston College (KenPom #80), they gave Creighton a game on the road and only lost to Kansas at home on a late buzzer-beater for the Jayhawks. In Big Ten play, three of their four losses have come against Michigan State, Purdue, and Ohio State -- aka, arguably the three best teams in the league. (Their fourth was a 76-74 loss to Penn State in OT.) Most of their Big Ten wins have come against the league's underclass (Minnesota, Northwestern, Wisconsin, Illinois, Rutgers), but they did record a 20-point win over Michigan in Lincoln last week. For the most part, though, they've beaten the teams they should beat and lost to teams they should lose to. That's not great news for Iowa, though, because... Nebrasketball should beat Iowa in this game.
The Huskers haven't had much luck against Iowa in hoops -- they're 3-7 overall against Iowa since joining the Big Ten and they've lost six of their last seven games against the Hawkeyes, with the sole win coming in 2OT in Lincoln last year. But this is a new year and a new Nebraska team. Iowa played their best game of the Big Ten season -- and probably the season overall -- against Wisconsin this week, but now the question becomes what's next. Can they build off that win? Was that win a sign of Iowa turning the corner or just a fluke? Let's hope it was the former.
The usual rules apply.