Tipoff: 5:30 pm CST
Location: Mackey Arena - West Lafayette, IN
Television: Big Ten Network
Live Stats and Internet Radio: Huskers.com
Radio: IMG Husker Sports Network | KLIN 1400 in Lincoln - KFAB 1110 in Omaha - KRVN 880 in Lexington
Play by play - Kent Pavelka Color - Matt Davison
I'm still shaking my head, for two reasons.
1. I picked one of the worst possible games this season to miss. I was even in Omaha, with my brother in law...but we decided to take our wives out for dinner. The dinner was crap, and I had to miss what I can only imagine was pure delight- seeing Nebraska lay down the wood..and do whatever they wanted against Myers Leonard and the "Fighting" Illini.
2. Doc Sadler, after essentially falling off the cliff, he has still managed to cling on for dear life by a pinky finger. Summer 2012 will probably still be spent searching for Nebraska's next basketball coach, but the win over Illinois certainly throws one of the strangest kinks into a quite bizarre season for Doc.
Purdue is up next, and I was able to get a brief exchange going with Travis over at Hammer and Rails. Read after the jump, and follow the link for my answers to his questions on the Big Ten, and Nebraska's game tonight.
Brian: How do you feel about the Cornhuskers joining the conference from a basketball standpoint? A welcome win to your record each year? Or are you disappointed that we aren't bringing more swagger into the Big Ten?
Travis: From seeing the feature on The Journey about your basketball practice facility and the upcoming arena it is clear that y ou guys are taking basketball seriously, so that is all we really ask. There is no such thing as an easy win in this conference, as we learned at Penn State. I think as long as you guys keep pulling off solid games like the win over Indiana (thanks for that) and get better better every year you'll be just fine in this league. It's all about earning respect, and you've earned it this year.
Brian: What should Husker fans be watching for on Wednesday? Are there any stars on the Purdue team that we should be scared of?
Travis: Well, D.J. Byrd is returning from suspension that cost us Kelsey Barlow (if you need info, check out my four posts from last Friday on it). Byrd has been playing incredibly well of late and was the reason we beat Northwestern and Illinois as well as being competitive at Ohio State. He'll move back into the starting lineup for this one and we need him to keep being a threat to score 15-20 if we're going to have success the rest of this year. Other than that, scoring is hit or miss. Lewis Jackson and Ryne Smith are capable of big games, but also capable of going scoreless. This team has been maddeningly inconsistent.
Brian: What's more popular on campus, football or basketball?
Basketball. It's Indiana, and we're a basketball state. Football slid down quite a bit before starting to rise back a little, but there is never any trouble selling out Mackey Arena. Selling out Ross-Ade usually takes Notre Dame visiting.
Brian: You guys are 7-7 in the league, and Nebraska can really wreck your shot of qualifying for the Tournament. What are your chances of making it to the dance this season?
I think we're safe as long as we beat Nebraska and Penn State in our final two home games. One of the most troubling things this year was that we were not invincible at Mackey. in fact, we've lost four games for the first time in six years. We've got to hold serve in these last two home games. Winning our first round Big Ten tourney game, likely in the 6-11 game, would be a very good idea too. Getting those three means we're probably safe.
Brian: What should Husker fans know about your campus? Any cool traditions or stories we should know about?
Drew Brees is a god amongst men in the eyes of Purdue fans and can do no wrong. We also boast Neil Armstrong as an alum and the school of aerospace engineering bears his name with a statue in front. For anything, else, visit my Game Day Guide to West Lafayette, which is pretty comprehensive.
Thanks again Travis, best of luck tonight. Go Big Red!