Nebraska anticipates a loud and proud crowd Sunday night for Wisconsin.
By Randy York
On a Saturday when college basketball followers were preparing to watch some intriguing national match-ups, ESPN took a timeout from its College Game Day coverage. The network checked in with Joe Lunardi, and the “bracketologist” made a rather compelling comment about Sunday’s 6:30 p.m. Nebraska-Wisconsin game at Pinnacle Bank Arena. He called the BTN national telecast “the most important game in Nebraska basketball history.”
Lunardi’s analysis isn’t hype to me, especially when you consider that 1) Nebraska (18-11 overall and 10-7 in the Big Ten) has qualified for six NCAA Tournaments, but the last appearance was 16 years ago; 2) Nebraska is one of only two BCS schools never to win an NCAA Basketball Tournament game; and 3) Nebraska has proven all season that it can compete against some of the nation’s best teams.
If the Huskers can beat Wisconsin and add another win over a top 10 team to match last month’s upset at Michigan State, they can create serious momentum, heading into the Big Ten Tournament and, hopefully, into NCAA’s Big Dance. Incidentally, Lunardi’s most recent bracket on ESPN.com on Thursday projects either Arkansas or Nebraska as a No. 11 seed playing No. 6 seed Texas in San Antonio’s Midwest Regional. In Lunardi’s bracket, the Arkansas/Nebraska vs. Texas winner would advance to a second-round match-up against the winner of a No. 3 Creighton vs. No. 14 Belmont game.
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