Nebraska basketball lost to Northwestern yesterday, much the same way they have so many times before - by giving up a big run and then by not being able to recover.
The Huskers will going to the Big Ten tourney as the #11 seed where they'll play Rutgers. The good news is we can probably beat Rutgers. More good news - Rutgers ended their bazillion game conference losing streak with a win over Minnesota at the end of the regular season Saturday, so if we lose in the first round we won't be embarrassed by that.
(Here's the 2016 Big Ten Basketball Tournament Bracket )
The bad news is that the season goes on. I hate to say that - I know it's pessimistic and I don't enjoy piling on - but it's become painful to watch the end of this basketball season. It's been a lather, rinse, repeat process the past few games. The scoring droughts continue, the lack of a big man is apparent, and it feels like most of the team has run out of gas.
That's too bad, because at times they really were the most enjoyable Nebraska basketball team to watch in a while. It's been a joy to watch Shavon Shields throughout his career and Benny Parker hustles like no one else I can remember with the possible exception of Erick Strickland, who played basketball like a linebacker.
While Mrs. CN and I were out to eat over the weekend our waiter noticed me checking out the Minnesota - Rutgers basketball game and commented on the horrifying 40-15 halftime score. He wasn't a Minnesota season ticket holder, but he said he tried to get to 8-10 games a year but now wasn't going to bother anymore until things improved. He'd given up on Rick Pitino, and his hope was Pitino would be fired when the Gophers get a new athletic director.
I admired his ability to stop caring. I have a feeling that's where most fans are about Nebraska basketball at this point.
He asked me how Nebraska was doing.
I told him that if Tim Miles weren't able to build a winning team at Nebraska that we might as well pack it in and resolve ourselves to the idea that we're never going to be good at men's basketball. That statement isn't just because I believe Miles can be a good coach for Nebraska; it's the fear that if Miles can't succeed we're going to be known as a place where basketball coaches careers' go to die. If we end up firing Miles in the next couple years we'll be lucky to get anyone to coach without throwing a bazillion dollars at them.
If you think that throwing a bazillion (or a gazillion, take your pick) dollars at someone is a guide way to hire people, well, you're wrong. Throw a gargantuan pile of money at a basketball coach at Nebraska, and you might as well do it for the football coach, then his assistants, and then the baseball coach; point is, it has a ripple effect throughout the department.
You might think that Nebraska has the money to do things that way, but we've never been about hiring mercs.
Maybe it's come to that. Maybe we're ready.
The Nebraska softball team hit three home runs and scored in every inning but one, as the Huskers secured a series victory over Wichita State on Sunday with a 10-5 victory at Bowlin Stadium.
At least the softball team is kicking ass.
Particularly impressive was the starting pitching for both squads as UNL’s Derek Burkamper went 5. 0 innings and gave up five hits, no runs with eight Ks. Long Beach starter Darren McCaughan was even a tidbit better, going seven innings and giving up just four hits and striking out six. Neither figured into the decision, obviously.
The baseball team did better this weekend, but it wasn't reflected in the wins and losses, unfortunately. Pitching wasn't a disaster, but there's this:
I have the #Huskers at 0-for-22 with runners in scoring position in the two losses at Long Beach State today (did have one sac fly)— Jon Nyatawa (@JonNyatawa) March 6, 2016
Nebraska is in the Top 25 every season for attendance. I don't expect fans to stop going out to Haymarket, but Darin Erstad needs to figure this out. Whether he's a favorite son or not, baseball should be near the top ten of the Big Ten every season, otherwise it's time to find another guy.
I did not know this was available.
March 2016 is only three days old, but the madness is already intense. Before conference tournaments ramp up further and the first automatic bids of the season are awarded, our resident bracketologist looks at the bid picture with nine days left.
Nebraska gets three out of the top five. Unfortunately, they all occurred before most of you were born. I'm proud of our history, but I'm kind of sick of having to live in it.
The former Bears and Bucs coach hasn't worked at the college level in a couple decades, but he's won a bunch of games in this state.
After a couple of years adrift, Illinois football finally has a direction, and it leads somewhere promising.
The Illini have had an eventful last year.
Lovie Smith hired by Illinois Football - The Champaign Room
Smith will be named the 27th Head Coach in program history.
With his 40th birthday approaching, Manning will hang it up after a record-setting career.
"Peyton told me once he wanted to be a good player," Archie said. "I told him the good players I know work at it. That's all I told him."