Remember the phrase?..."One of these things, is not like the other".
Take a quick look at the quarterfinal round of the Big12 Tournament and one might be reminded. After yesterday's games the bracket now holds the top 6 seeds, but with one curious absentee. In place of the #5 seed Missouri Tigers, we see Nebraska trying to find a place in line.
After celebrating what was most definitely the biggest upset of the night in College Basketball, Nebraska gets back down to business today against Texas A+M. We saw the Aggies for the only time this year way back in early January, for the first conference game of the season. From my recollection, the game was actually pretty close throughout. In the end, we just couldn't make shots and hang onto the ball, resulting in an 11 point loss.
(more after jump..)
Husker fans who watched or followed that game may remember that Christian Standhardinger saw action for the first time this season against A+M. The Huskers were actually tied with the Aggies at several points early in the second half, and only lost this one down the stretch. Both teams shot like 1st graders from the 3-point arc in that game, going just 10 for 43 from downtown. The Huskers shot 37% from the floor, and 31% from the arc...while A+M shot 38% and 14% respectively.
That being such an early game, it's probably not worth making any assumptions for today based on statistics. What I have seen since that game, is Texas A+M cracking the top 25 and beating some good teams, while Nebraska....well, we all know what direction the Huskers went.
Like I said, the interesting storyline here will be Doc Sadler and his distribution of minutes. Christian Standhardinger had a career game versus Iowa State 2 weeks ago, but didn't see any action yesterday. Ray Gallegos was also held to just 5 minutes, and so I will be curious to see who plays this afternoon. Who knows? Maybe Doc has a strategy here? Maybe he's trying to play matchups, and Standhardinger wasn't really a good fit against the running Tigers? Sophomore Brandon Richardson played the most minutes, along with Ryan Anderson. Even Sek Henry saw less clock than he is used to. (Granted he fouled out with a few minutes left)
Richardson led the scoring attack yesterday, but Nebraska had 4 guys in double figures for scoring. Anderson chipped in 16, and we got 10 a piece from Jeter and Diaz. Having said that, I think we will need another dazzling shooting performance today to pull of our first 2-game win streak in conference play this year. The upsides? I saw some very good passing in the game replays, something we haven't done all that well this year. This resulted in far fewer turnovers than what Husker fans are used to seeing. The Huskers looked like they were just clicking, and the chemistry was great. Hitting 60% plus from the arc helps, but like I mentioned in the recap...chemistry is everything, especially in basketball.
Lets see if the Huskers can keep the season alive, I'm not ready for the season to end just yet.
Tipoff: 2pm CST
Venue: Sprint Center - Kansas City, MO
Television: ESPN Fullcourt and The Big 12 Network
Radio: Husker Sports Network (Kent Pavelka and Matt Davison....if he isn't too hung over)
Internet Radio/Stats: www.Huskers.com
Live Game thread: www.CornNation.com