Tipoff: 11:31 pm CST
Location: Williams Arena - Minneapolis, MN
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
Nebraska lost to the Iowa Hawkeyes on Wednesday evening, in a game that showed us a 40 minute snapshot of the 2011-12 team and the season so far. Caleb Walker got things started with a dazzling alley-oop dunk on the Huskers' first possession, and slowly but surely, things started to dissolve from there. To me, the flow of the game was a microcosm of Doc Sadler and this Husker team this year. Brandon Ubel came out of nowhere and scored a career high 17 points, and yet it didn't matter. All season long we've had unpredictable play from a variety of guys on the roster, which has led to high-highs, and some very low-lows. Sadler showed that he had the brains and playbook to come up with one remarkable play, one monster right-hook to start things off, but not the coaching depth to go the full 15 rounds. Fans were pumped after the initial burst of energetic play, but you could almost sense that they were just waiting for the inevitable. The Huskers played hard until the end, and none of it really mattered versus a superior opponent.
I remember one glaringly illustrative moment on television during this game, where Bo Spencer had an open fast break with trailers, and he inexplicably throws the ball out of bounds rather than scoring or getting fouled. An extreme WTF? moment for all. The camera cuts to a close up of Doc Sadler's face, and in the background there is a fan right behind the bench...laughing hysterically. That pretty much sums it up for this season. Our best player, and he can't even be counted on to score a layup in transition. Doc just gave that blank stare, and the fans laugh to hide the pain.
So here we are..Nebraska plays it's final game of the regular season today versus the (almost) equally hapless Minnesota Golden Gophers. It's an early game finale, with very little on the line. The Huskers are essentially playing for a less-sucky seed in the Big Ten tournament next Thursday, and hope to get to 5 wins in the league. A win probably matters very little, as Nebraska will play either Purdue or Indiana in the first round. It's been a torturous season for fans of the Husker basketball team, and it simply needs to end. The wind has long left the sails of the men's program for this season, and most fans have turned their attention to the surging women's team. Rightfully so...the ladies are kicking ass!
There will be a thread for the ladies game a bit later, so we'll put this one up in the meantime. Best of luck to both teams, and once again.... Go Big Red!
*Note: I will be out of the country next week as it turns out, and will not have access to the internet for more than maybe 3 minutes. Gamethread(s) will go up for the Big Ten Tourney however, with the help of the boys at CN.