It is past due for a Christmas miracle on the hardwood and tomorrow is the perfect time for that as the Nebraska Cornhuskers welcome the No. 19 Michigan Wolverines. Nothing tastes sweeter as an Apéritif to dinner than Juan Howard tears.
5 p.m. CST/6 EST
Lincoln, NE - Pinnacle Bank Arena
TV: Big Ten Network
Play-by-play: Kevin Kugler
Analyst: Nick Bahe
Online Broadcast: Fox Sports app & foxsports.com/live
IMG College Sports Network
1400 AM in Lincoln, 590 AM in Omaha, 880 AM in Lexington
Play-by-play: Kent Pavelka
Analyst: Jake Muhleisen
Online Radio: Available on Huskers.com, Huskers App, TuneIn.com/Huskers and TuneIn App.
SiriusXM (internet): 372
The 6-0 Wolverines come into this one hardly tested overall on the season. Despite that, the No. 2 program in the mitten state ranks No. 15 in KenPom, is No. 9 in adjusted offense, and No. 30 in adjusted defense. The varmints also rank No. 27 in ESPN’s BPI (these rankings were as of Tuesday this week and may change by game tip-off).
Michigan faced just two teams that currently sit in the top-100 of KenPom rankings, UCF (No. 94) and Toledo (No. 90). They also have a four-point win over then No. 47 Penn State in conference play. However, they haven’t played since the Penn State game on Nov. 13 and haven’t left the bird den known as Crisler Center.
Unfortunately for the Huskers, the location rarely seems to matter in this matchup. This marks the 22nd all-time meeting between the programs, and Michigan leads it 17-3 (one win was vacated by the cheating cheaters of Ann Arbor who were caught cheating during the Fab Cheaters era that included present-day head coach Juwan Howard). Michigan is 12-1 over Nebraska since the Huskers joined the Big Ten. These games are rarely close, either. Michigan’s average margin of victory is 16.2 points, while Nebraska’s is 11.3. Just three games have been decided by three-or-fewer points, and the Wolverines are riding a three game win streak in the series.
Michigan is led in scoring, rebounding, and blocked shots by freshman center Hunter Dickinson. Dickinson is averaging 15.7 points per game on 69.1 percent shooting from the field while averaging 7.3 boards. Isaiah Livers is second in scoring with 15.2 points per game and is averaging 5.7 rebounds. Wake Forest transfer Chaundree Brown rounds out the double-digit scorers for Michigan with his 10 points per game.
The Wolverines are notably strong on the boards thus far as they average more than nine rebounds more than opponents per game thus far.
Hopefully the Huskers can channel the Dec. 12, 1964 matchup against Michigan in this game (my birthday in fact, but decades prior to my actual birth). On that day in the NU Coliseum the Cornhuskers knocked off the No. 1 ranked Wolverines on a buzzer beater for a 74-73 win and one of just three Nebraska wins over a No. 1 ranked team in program history.
Muck Fichigan and GO BIG RED!