IOWA (16-7, 7-5) VS. NEBRASKA (7-15, 2-9)
It's been a month and a day since a banged-up Iowa traveled to Lincoln and left with its worst loss of the season.
They haven't won since.
You read that correctly: Nebraska hasn't won a game in over a month, with seven Big Ten losses in that stretch. The Huskers lost at Wisconsin, at Rutgers, at Ohio State, and at Northwestern. They haven't won a true road game all year, and haven't won away from Lincoln since a Thanksgiving tournament game against South Florida in Grand Cayman. In fact, Nebraska hasn't won a game played in America outside the state of Nebraska all season. There aren't a lot of programs that can say that.
Not much has changed since that last game against Iowa: The Huskers still take a ton of threes and make about a third of them. They are probably the worst rebounding team in the nation, they're dead last in the country in getting shots blocked, and they're shooting under 60 percent from the free throw line; when you can't even average 1.00 points per possession on a one-and-one, you're hurting. At least they don't turn it over?
That line is where it's supposed to be for a Top 20 team against an opponent as overmatched as this, especially at home. This is the last pushover Iowa should see all season, and Iowa should shove them into oblivion. Frankly, it's the perfect game for a team recovering from an embarrassing loss earlier in the week and trying to look away from the specter of another February meltdown. Beat the brakes off the Huskers and move on to the last stretch of the Big Ten schedule.
Iowa won't be able to ignore the Ghost of Februaries Past if it can't win Saturday night. This is, quite simply, the most must-win game of the season, because a loss is Chernobyl.