Nebraska Victory Over Ohio State Would Still Be an Upset

Despite the fact that Nebraska is the higher seed (by virtue of a better conference record), beat the Buckeyes in the last meeting in Lincoln, and has had an extra day of rest while OSU plays on back-to-back days, the Huskers still take the court as underdogs versus Ohio State.

 

The early line has NU as a 4.5 point underdog to OSU.  Every credible computer and human basketball poll would also call Ohio State the better team.  Indianapolis is also a shorter trip from Columbus than Lincoln, which tends to make a measurable difference.  If you follow Ken Pomeroy's log5 predictions, then the Huskers have only about a 1 in 4 chance of winning today.

But then this Husker team is used to being an underdog.  The odds were much poorer as NU found themselves a 13.5 point underdog heading to East Lansing to face Michigan State.  Four days ago Nebraska also found themselves a home 'dog against Wisconsin.  For that matter, the Huskers were getting 8.5 points when they hosted the Buckeyes.  All were Husker victories.

This Ohio State team is for real.  They are considered among the dozen or so best teams in the country by a number of credible computer polls.  Just taking the court with the Buckeyes will likely give NU a boost in some of them, including the rather important RPI.  Pomeroy's poll give's the Buckeyes a good chance of winning the Big Ten tournament not too far behind the favorite Michigan, or next best Wisconsin. 

So there's no shame should NU fail to win today nor should it cost the Huskers an NCAA tournament at-large bid.  Instead it presents an almost nothing-to-lose opportunity.  A win will push Nebraska toward a higher seed.  And that would likely improve NU's chances of finally getting a win in the big dance.  

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Iowa looses again!  They don’t belong in the NIT let alone the NCAA.  Seems kinda of funny you move higher in the ranks because you play a good team and lose rather than playing a middle of the pack team and win.  There is no way they should be considered before NU, if we played them again now we would destroy them they are terrible:)

Good lord, how do we blow a 18 point lead?

Somehow it must be Pellini’s fault.  Was he at the game?

BOP was busy causing global warming—which he is failing at since its fricking cold as frick here—he couldnt have done this.  So, do we get N the tourney or no?

Drat, nebrasketballed again…. Curse you cat loving beau panini

Johnny ~ meltdown due to unfamiliar pressure felt by NU in a setting where NU is finally relevant in a conference BB tourney.  While I believe NU should be invited to the NCAA tournery, it could not happen.  Add all those variables together and you have a brain fart on the floor in the second half.  Experiencing such games over time will eliminate such a negative turnaround.
As to those who mock critics of BOP by suggesting BOP must have been at the game or Dogg’s comment, just remember.  While not at the B10 tourney game, BOP was at the regular 2013 season ending Iowa game played at home.  For sure, we can place some of the blame on BOP for losing that one!!!  I think a 10’ foot long 2 x 4 was nailed into his right shoulder with a railroad spike to boot.  Ouch!!! That hurt the program more than it hurt BOP.  Between now and next fall, BOP needs to attend a snake ridden faith healing ‘come to Jesus’ tent revival meeting in the dust bowl of western Nebraska.  Sinner repent!  Talk in tongues!  Devil beware - BOP has seen the light and he will spit the face of the devil rather than the poor ref who is trying to do his job for how much money a game?

Now that’s entertaining!

As a close observer of Ohio State, there are serious issues on that team.  For example, they have a post player in Amir Williams, who cannot catch the ball period, let along in traffic, and cannot grasp the ball to get a rebound.  He has all the measurables and credentials (McD’s AA), but he is passive, and plays an incredible amount of minutes without doing anything except for being out there.  He is 6’10” but plays 5’10” defensively.  Virtually no one has any problem shooting over him.

With that kind of post play, they are not going any where in terms of the tournament.  They have a great defender and floor leader in Aaron Craft, and some nice role players like Lenzell Smith.  Sam Thompson is a great athlete, but is inconsistent on both ends of the floor.  LaQ Ross is a legit NBA player, but has also struggled with consistency.  They have some nice role players that come off the bench, but no one who scares you to death.

Nebraska has a developing program.  I see them as a program that just needs to keep taking steps - be in the top half of the conference, make the tournament, win a tournament game or two, attract high level talent, and then cash in on all that comes with that.  But in 2014, I don’t expect either of these teams to be in the final 16 teams left.

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