NIT Preview: #6 Nebraska at #3 New Mexico

Nebraska Cornhuskers (18-12, 8th, Big XII) at New Mexico Lobos (21-11, T1st MWC)

Statistical Comparison
Nebraska Category New Mexico
64.3 Points 73.7
27.9 Rebounds 34.3
13.3 Assists 15.4
11.5 Turnovers 12.4
8.5 Steals 6.5
43.9% FG% 46.1%
36.3% 3FG% 38.0%
69.8% FT% 70.2%
102.6 Off. Efficiency 112.5
90.8 Def. Efficiency 94.7
63.2 Tempo (possessions/game) 65.6
73.8" Average Height
77.5"

After shocking the surprisingly strong Mountain West Conference and finishing tied for 1st, the Lobos probably hoped they could make the NCAA Tournament.  Nebraska, on the other hand, after some close losses at home and a few bad losses saw its season vary narrowly between an NCAA tournament run and a CBI appearance, ending up disappointingly with an NIT road game, and a very tough region.

The Lobos have a lot going for them.  The Pit, New Mexico's famous home court, is a big home-court advantage (81% of home wins in 40+ years), and have first-team All-MWC Guard Tony Danridge, who has averaged 22.4 points over his last 6 games.  Expect Ade Dagunduro -- NU's best defender -- to match up all night with Danridge.

Nebraska and New Mexico had three common opponents: The Huskers went 3-0 against Creighton, TCU, and Texas Tech (with road wins at TCU and Tech), while the Lobos went 2-2 (sweeping TCU, but losing at Creighton and Texas Tech).

It will be a difficult endeavour for the Huskers to pull out a win, but they can do it.  Win, and they likely head to South Bend to play Notre Dame.  Lose, and the season's over.

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