In a game that some viewed as a must win if Nebraska wanted to make the big dance, the Huskers didn’t disappoint, beating Michigan for the first time since joining the Big Ten.
Nebraska jumped out to an early lead after an Isaiah Roby three and then a fast break layup by Glynn Watson Jr. after a Michigan turnover. However the Wolverines responded with a 7-0 run of their own, eventually leading 9-7 over Nebraska at the U16 media timeout.
Even though the Huskers were down at the first media timeout, it was obvious how big of a night Roby was going to have. Roby at the U12 media timeout already had five points but also three assists, with one a great look to Copeland for the dunk.
Nebraska didn’t falter either when they jumped out to a big lead, going on a 16-4 run at one point to take the 28-16. All of the momentum seemed to be heading towards Nebraska heading into halftime, until Evan Taylor and Zavier Simpson got called for double technical fouls. After that the stadium simmered down for the final minute and a half.
Still, Nebraska strolled into the locker room at halftime leading 32-21, something not many fans had been expecting. Once PBA got rocking, the energy was too much for Michigan to handle and Nebraska fed off that energy so well it carried on to the second half.
There were times where Michigan started to creep back into it, especially after a Moritz “Moe” Wagner vicious dunk. But that would be a very short lived happiness for Wagner, as the student section got to his head like no other.
The student section chanted “Wagggnerrrr! Wagggnerrrr!” for the final 35 minutes of the game, purposely chanting it without the proper German pronunciation. I think its safe to say the fans rattled him, considering Wagner finished with two points and three personal fouls on 1-for-5 shooting.
James Palmer Jr. also played well for Nebraska, finishing with 19 points and four rebounds, while scoring 7 of those points from the charity stripe. When Palmer plays well, Nebraska plays well, and in the past two games that has been very evident. Palmer didn’t play like his normal self against Penn State, and Nebraska lost after playing an overall bad game for most of the game. Against Illinois, Palmer scored 24 points, not to mention his buzzer beater three.
Nebraska closed out the game with a twenty point victory, forcing Michigan to pull their starters out at the 3:30 mark. It was great to see Nana Akenten make a free throw and for Malcom Law to make a floater shot. Tonight everyone played well, and when that happens, Nebraska ranks as one of the upper tier teams in the Big Ten.
Nebraska will begin a three day, two games, road stretch at Ohio State this Monday and at Rutgers two days later on Wednesday. If Nebraska can split those pair of games, their schedule is pretty favorable, and one that the Huskers can capitalize on to make the NCAA tournament.