The official start of Nebrasketball is just a couple days away. What has been put together below is a breakdown of each game and a little on the opponents the Huskers will face.
It’s not as tough of a non conference schedule as it was last year. However, there is enough decent teams scattered throughout to prepare the Huskers for conference play. It the long run, it should work in Nebraska’s favor by getting them the right teams to play and making them eligible for the NCAA Tournament at the end of the regular season.
- 11/6 - Mississippi Valley State
Don’t we play these folks every year?
- 11/11 - Southeastern Louisiana
Again, another directional middle southern team coming up to Lincoln to take on the Cornhuskers early in the schedule. It’s like a rite of passage for some of these teams.
- 11/14 - Seton Hall
The Pirates should be a middle of the pack Big East squad this year. they were 22-12 in ‘17-’18 and ended the year third in the conference. Some of the talent has left from last year but should still be a player. Expect this to be the first game Nebraska is tested in.
- 11/19 - Missouri State (Kansas City, MO)
This is the first game of the Hall of Fame Classic....moving on.
- 11/20 - TBD (Kansas City, MO)
I love TBD. They’re a complete unknown until a few days out. Expect the unexpected here.
- 11/24 - Western Illinois
They’re called the Leathernecks and their mascot is a bulldog. They also were 12-16 in the Summit last year.
- 11/26 - at Clemson
While Clemson basketball isn’t Clemson football, they have become quite the force in the ACC conference over the past few years. They get Marquise Reed and Shelton Mitchell back so they will be good. The Tigers are only expected to finish in the middle or so of the ACC this year but that has more to do with it being a stacked conference than a reflection of Clemson’s talent. Expect a tough game in South Carolina.
- 12/2 - Illinois
The Big Ten has put a couple of conference games in the middle of conference play. Illinois is the first the Huskers will face. Coach Underwood is recruiting well in Champaign but it will be another year or so before these start like the Illini of yesteryear. Nebraska should “start” the conference slate with a win.
- 12/5 - Minnesota
Richard Pitino is still coaching in Minnesota? Yep, despite the injuries and off court drama last year he will be on the sidelines. Amir Coffy will be back from shoulder surgery last February so that will help the Golden Gophers out. I’m not sure what to make of the team year. They’ve surprised us before with a successful season so it wouldn’t surprise me if they were the first true conference test for the Huskers.
- 12/8 - Creighton
Creighton has had some fun over the past few weeks. It doesn’t help that they’re returning will little talent from last season. I would expect Tim Miles to get his first win against the Bluejays this year and the monkey will finally be off his back.
- 12/16 - Oklahoma State (Sioux Falls, SD)
The Huskers head north to the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls to take on old conference foe Oklahoma State. Not a lot is expected out of second year head coach Mike Boynton and his Cowboys. They’re young and without the talent that went 21-15 with wins over powers Kansas, West Virginia, and Oklahoma.
- 12/22 - Cal State Fullerton
Believe it or not, the Titans made the NCAA Tournament last year and I’m not talking baseball. They’re expected to contend again this year for the Big West Conference and should test Nebraska before Christmas.
- 12/29 - Southwestern Minnesota State
A new head coach in the Missouri Valley should help the Huskers end the year with a in in Pinnacle Bank Arena.
- 1/2 - at Maryland
Kevin Huretur and Justin Jackson are gone but it’s Maryland basketball so of course they’ve recruited well. We will see how well their replacements are doing
- 1/6 - at Iowa
The Hawkeyes are coming of a rough year but should have a decent squad. At least better than last year. I know coach Fran McCaffrey needs to start winning again and this could be the year we will see improvement.....Franny
- 1/10 - Penn State
Hey, they won the NIT last year. Remember when Nebraska use to do stuff like that? Ya know, like 20 years ago. Anyway, Tony Carr is gone so someone needs to step up on offense. The Nittany Lions should have a decent defense yet again.
- 1/14 - at Indiana
Romo Langford and Juwon Morgan are going to be names you know. This Hoosier squad should be a contender this year. For the first time in awhile there is some positive energy around this program and if all goes well the national media will be all in this historic power.
- 1/17 - Michigan State
I think just about everyone has the Spartans in the top spot in the Big Ten. Coach Izzo brings back Nick Ward, Cassius Winford, Josh Langford, and Matt McQuaid to try for a shot at the national title once again. The Spartans reload every year and this one is no exception.
- 1/21 - at Rutgers
- 1/26 - Ohio State
First year head coach Chris Holtmann had a huge year last season. They earned the number five seed in the NCAA Tournament and made it to the second round before losing Gonzaga. The Buckeyes lose Big Ten Player of the Year Keta Bates-Diop and Jae’Sean but have some nice pieces for what should be a rebuilding year. You don’t replace talent like that overnight with such a young head coach who has just started to recruit.
- 1/29 - Wisconsin
The Badgers were young and in a rebuild last season. However, they bring everyone back including First Team All Big Ten forward Ethan Happ. I would not be surprised if Wisconsin is challenging for the top of the Big Ten by the time this game tips off.
- 2/2 - at Illinois
Game #2 against Illinois.
- 2/6 - Maryland
Game #2 against Maryland.
- 2/9 - at Purdue
The Boilermakers lose four starters from last years squad that made it to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament. Carson Edwards returns and will have a new starting cast around his leadership. I’m not sure what to make of this years squad yet but I wouldn’t be surprised if coach Matt Painter has them playing well by February when the Huskers play them.
- 2/13 - Minnesota
Game #2 against Minnesota.
- 2/16 - Northwestern
Remember two years ago when the Wildcats were the Cinderella of the Big Ten? They went on to not only make the NCAA Tournament but also win a game and left Nebraska as the lone power conference school without a tournament win? Yep, this squad is a little ways from that. Also Vic Law is still at Northwestern. I am sure he’s working on his doctorate. At least it feels like he’s been there that long.
- 2/19 - at Penn State
Game #2 Against Penn State
- 2/23 - Purdue
Game #2 Against Purdue.
- 2/28 - at Michigan
One of the few good wins Nebraska had last year was to National Champion Runner Up Michigan. They lose Mo Wagner, and Duncan Robinson but should have enough talent replacing them to find themselves fighting the Spartans at the top of the conference. They should be just as stout on defense as they were last year.
- 3/5 - at Michigan State
Game #2 against Michigan State.
- 3/10 - Iowa
Game #2 against Iowa.