The men and women see action today in the NCAA Championships. Rather than posting two articles, we'll just combine things here.
It's game time for the Cornhusker women. The whole season boils down to a handful of games, that can either end the dream season early for Nebraska, or validate a run that has seen the Nebraska women make school history on several accounts.
Nebraska will certainly be looking to re-affirm themselves after an uninspired 10 point loss to Texas A&M in the Big 12 Tournament. Some are saying that getting a loss out of the way could be a positive thing for this team, which will allow the Huskers to shed any pressure of going unbeaten, and resetting their focus in time for the tournament.
I'm not so sure what the loss means, but whether the Huskers can find benefit or not...it's time to pull out all the stops.
(more after jump...)
Northern Iowa takes the court today versus the #1 seed Nebraska Cornhuskers, after winning the MVC conference championship. UNI earned just a 16 seed however, partially due to losing 9 of it's first 13 games of the season. The Panthers placed just 5th during the regular season in their conference, and accumulated a 17-15 overall record en route to the NCAA tournament.
It took a pair of late free throws with under 10 seconds left to knock off Creighton 54-53 in the MVC title game. With the Panthers just a hair over .500 on the season, one has to wonder if they have what it takes to pull off a shocker in Minneapolis. UNI failed to beat a ranked team this year, and their toughest opponent, Iowa St., handled them easily back in December.
The Huskers will be doing whatever they can to avoid a repeat performance of their Big 12 tournament game with Texas A&M, which isn't likely as long as Kelsey Griffin doesn't get strapped with foul trouble again. Nebraska ended the season 30-1, and won the regular season championship before suffering their first loss of the season, and losing grip on the tournament title. As a result, I'd like to think that our Cornhuskers feel like they some "un-finished" business to take care of.
Nebraska will lose 6 seniors after this season, including Cory Montgomery, Big 12 Defensive POY Yvonne Turner, and Big 12 POY Kelsey Griffin. That will hurt us severely, and so this run at the title could be as good as it gets for a while.
Saturday's action saw Stanford and Tennessee win big in their first round games. Uconn, and Notre Dame will play today. If Nebraska wins, they will play either (8)UCLA or (9)NC State. Ironically, (2)Oklahoma was seeded in the same region as Nebraska, setting up a possible rematch of the Big 12 title game. If the Big Red eventually gets passed the Sooners, they will likely face the 2nd seeded Notre Dame team that has been picked at times over Nebraska in the polls. Click here to view the women's brackets over at CBS Sports.
Both teams will have fans travelling in force, as the Minneapolis location is just a few hours drive from Lincoln, and even shorter from Cedar Falls. Expect a full house, and some serious Big Red support in the twin-cities. Nebraska should have things in order over Northern Iowa today. Yet to underestimate the purple and gold would be foolish.
Just ask Kansas.
Tipoff: 7:06pm EST - 6:06pm CST
Venue: Williams Arena - Minneapolis, MN