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Volleyball: NCAA Tournament Preview

If the Huskers hope to repeat their national title in Minneapolis, the road will likely go through Minnesota.

Jon Johnston

This year’s NCAA Division I Championship Weekend is in Minneapolis. Arguably the best team in the country is Minnesota. While a favorite having home court seems unfair, don’t forget Nebraska has won the title twice in Omaha.

Oh, and Nebraska’s Road to Repeat puts them in the Minnesota regional. Minnesota has beaten Nebraska twice this season.

The Huskers have the #7 seed in the tournament. Realistically, that’s about right. The team finished third in the B1G, tied with Wisconsin (#6 seed) and Penn State (#8 seed).

The top four teams are Stanford, Minnesota, Illinois, and BYU. Creighton also made the tournament, earning a #9 seed and also hosting the first weekend.

It’s hard to really breakdown the tournament. As anyone who’s ever filled out a March Madness bracket will tell you, it’s kind of a crap shoot.

Coming to Lincoln for the first round will be Hofstra, Arizona, and Missouri. Hofstra is the Huskers’ first round match up, and the Colonial Athletic Association champion and automatic bid. The CAA would be considered a mid-major, so it’s likely that the Huskers will advance to the second round.

Missouri comes out of the SEC and lost to James Madison, the team that Hofstra beat to win the conference tournament, and Ohio State, at team that the Huskers dominated on Friday, However, Mizzou beat Florida in their only match up of the season.

Arizona was barely above .500, finishing 11-9, in the Pac-12, but all of their losses came to ranked teams. Over the course of a week, the Wildcats lost to and then beat the New Mexico State Aggies.

Nebraska matches up well against all of the first weekend opponents and there’s no reason to believe that they won’t advance to the second weekend of the tournament.

The second weekend? Who knows. There’s a high likelihood that the four seeded teams, Minnesota, Nebraska, Kentucky, and Oregon, make it to the regional rounds. HOWEVER, Purdue could easily beat Kentucky, and while it’s a long shot, Colorado could pull one out and beat Minnesota. Don’t sleep on the Buffs.

We’ll have coverage of all of the remaining Husker matches this season along with a second weekend preview should the Huskers make it that far.