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Nebrasketball: Big Ten Tournament Edition - Rutgers Preview

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First round match up in the windy city

NCAA Basketball: Nebraska at Rutgers Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Rutgers Preview

Date: Wednesday, March 13th

Time: 5:30pm CST

Location: Chicago, IL

TV: BTN

2018-19 Record: 14-16 (7-12)

Coach: Steve Pikiell

Last Meeting: January 21 - Rutgers 76 Nebraska 69

Believe it or not, Rutgers finished one spot ahead of Nebraska this year in the regular season.

Believe it or not, Rutgers is pulling itself out of the Big Ten basement. They’re not there yet but it at least looks like Steve Pikiell is leading this squad in the right direction. Even though they had a losing record the Scarlet Knights did pull off wins over ranked Ohio State and Iowa this year. I know it doesn’t sound like a lot, but for this squad it’s progress.

Since beating Nebraska they are 5-6 in conference play with wins over Penn State, Indiana, Northwestern, Minnesota, and Iowa. To be honest, these are not terrible wins. Penn State has improved as of late. Indiana has had it’s share of nice wins. While Minnesota and Iowa can also carry their own. For a team that was dead last in the conference last year, they’re not playing too poorly.

They are led by forward Eugene Omoruyi. The junior is averaging 13.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game. He had only eight points against Nebraska in January but was coming off a three game absence. Since then he has been a threat for the Scarlet Knights.

Handling the ball duties down the court is Geo Baker. The 6’4” guard is averaging 12.3 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game. Baker had 16 points in the win against Nebraska and will be a threat again in Chicago.

Also of note is Montez Mathis. He had a big game against Nebraska with 20 points and could very well be an issue again if Nebraska comes out flat.

Prediction

Nebraska played and lost on the road to Rutgers in January. That was back when the team was in a bit of a tailspin. Not to say that the Huskers have pulled themselves out of it but they are performing marginally better as a team than they were back then. Rutgers, is still improving but they’re not exactly world beaters.

I’m going to go with Nebraska in this match up. I like the resiliency they had at the end of the Iowa game. Especially from the bench.

University of Nebraska 68 Rutgers University 61