Welcome to the post season folks! Who is ready for some Big Ten basketball in our nations capitol? This year the tournament will be taking place in Washington DC. Yep, B1G basketball is going full on east coast in 2017 so get ready for long shots of all the national treasures in DC.
It’s been a bumpy and at times confusing year in Big Ten play. In essence, there has been roughly three top teams (Purdue, Wisconsin, and Maryland) and everyone else bouncing around through four and fourteen. But, through all that turmoil, we now have a final ranking to fill out the tournament bracket.
So, where do we see our beloved Huskers this year? Let’s go down the Tournament rankings and see just where Nebraska will be hanging out to start the week.
5. Michigan State
11. Ohio State
13. Penn State
So after all the poor play and drama the last few weeks couldn’t push our beloved Huskers to the bottom of the Big Ten. Fortunately, we still have Rutgers to take up the rear. Mind you, a Rutgers who beat us by one point ending a Big Ten losing streak that leads back to the Obama administration.
Now it’s on to the play in game which takes place on Wednesday. The one day that all Big Ten teams try to avoid is up on us. Nebraska will take on Penn State at 3:30 pm and the winner will play Michigan State on Thursday at 1:25 pm. Ohio State takes on Rutgers at 6:00 pm and the winner of that game will also play on Thursday. This winner will take on Northwestern at 7:55 pm.
Penn State Preview
Record: 14-17 (6-12 Big Ten)
Record against Nebraska: 0-1 - 66-82 loss on February 14th in Lincoln
The last time we saw the Nittany Lions they were being dismantled by the Huskers back in February. Yes, back during one of Nebraska’s two game winning streaks. Glynn Watson and Tai Webster both came away with 15 points a piece and Jordy Tshimanga had a game high of 7 rebounds. It was a nice win that lead many of us to believe that the Huskers were going to be okay and finish out the season in fine form.
Since then Penn State has gone 0-4 with losses to top ranked Purdue, Minnesota, Ohio State, and Iowa. A tough group of teams to end the season against for any team. Even with those four losses they Nittany Lions took Purdue into overtime and loss to Ohio State by only a point. They could very well be 2-2 right now depending on how some baskets went at the end of those games.
They are still being lead by freshman Tony Carr. The young guard is averaging 13.2 ppg, 4.6 rpg, and 4.2 apg. Against Nebraska he had 15 points and 7 rebounds. While Nebraska did cruise in that win he was one thorn in the side of the Huskers all game. He was recently given the honor of being on the Big Ten’s all freshman team. Even if the Nittany Lions season ends this week, remember his name for next season because you will most likely hear it a a lot.
Lamar Stevens is the other major freshman who is averaging 12.5 ppg, and 5.6 rpg. Against Nebraska the forward had 13 points and 7 rebounds in the loss. I would expect more output from him this next time around if Nebraska keeps up it’s defensive struggles. What they did against Michigan on Sunday will not suffice against Stevens. He will take full advantage of any misstep.
Right now, both teams are coming into the tournament with losses. The difference is that Penn State has some that really are not that bad as stated above. Nebraska, on the other hand, has been reeling for the past four games with little encouragement that things could get better.