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Nebrasketball vs Minnesota: Photos And Review Of A Very Bad Loss

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The team looked exhausted.

They looked exhausted, not defeated.
Jon Johnston

It was a very bad loss against Minnesota. 16-game losing streak, most likely moving to 17 after the Big Ten tourney. Arguably the worst season in Nebraska basketball history - I don’t know that for sure, and I honestly don’t care. We knew this season would be bad going in. The only goal I wanted out of it was for us to not finish last in the Big Ten. That goal is goned. Time to move on.

#1 Haanif Cheatham looking at me during the national anthem. I’m sure he’s thinking “who’s this jerk with a camera during the national anthem?” because in #3 Thor gives me about the same look.

#17, #24 - Cute kids. #24 kid was the star of the place. He danced. He got on the big screen. He got a basketball. He got high fives from Goldy Gopher. It was disgustingly cute.

#34 - not really kids, but my place was directly in front of the Minnesota band. I wore ear plugs. They get leftover bananas from one of the concession places. They also got pizza. I took this photo because someone had asked me about an earlier Minnesota game in which the students were shown on BTN holding bananas. There was no significance to it other than college kids love free food. Even bananas. The one dude third from left in the back could scream really loud during our free throws. I told him to eat his banana. Good lord.

As the game wore on, the Minnesota crowd was eager for them to get to 100 points. It was depressing, but I understood it. If my team were at 97, I’d want three more just to say I was at a game like that. My only hope is that we can do the same to them sometime in the near future, as in the next three years. And not just Minnesota. EVERYONE ELSE.

I’m sure there are many Husker fans who felt that the team gave up. I didn’t see that. I saw a team that was exhausted. #21 conveys that (the main photo article) - or maybe it doesn’t - you can tell me in the comments section.

They were frustrated - #36 is evident of that. Thor showed his frustration at times, as did Cheatham. But they never quit. Jervay Green, Cheatham kept driving hard throughout the end of the game. Charlie Easley played his ass off, as did Thor. Yvan Ouedraogo looked like he’s come a long way since he started the season, but even he looked a little burned out.

You can’t say enough about Cheatham. He came to Nebraska, and he had to have an understanding about how the season might go, but he still battled all the way through. I hope that guy has a wonderful future.

Fred Hoiberg was clearly frustrated. #38 is him walking off the floor. Understandable. Minnesota scored too easily. The Gophers had a school-record 18 three-pointers. Everyone on the Minnesota rostered scored. Everyone. The crowd went nuts when their senior walk-on scored on Senior day.

I spoke with a Minnesota photographer before the game. Told him to be prepared for a blow-out and many happy Gopher faces. I’m sure he got a lot of great photos.

The future. It still looks bright with new players coming in next season but there’s always uncertainty.

Will Cam Mack come back? Will Dachon Burke Jr be with the team next season? Who else might transfer (because transfers occur in college basketball everywhere alla the time). Will Fred Hoiberg succeed in getting Nebraska a NCAA tourney win some day? Who knows?

Will there be a next season? I shook Doc Sadler’s hand and told him good luck as he walked off the floor. I hope I didn’t give him a deadly virus. (You know I had to mention it, right?) When I talked to Kent Pavelka and his audio engineer at halftime, I did not shake their hands. I elbow-bumped the usher who helped me out. Maybe Doc Sadler is so irresistible I felt compelled to shake his hand.

You can plan for the future all you want, but if you set your expectations on what you believe will happen and it doesn’t, then you are a fool. Better to live each day, each game, for itself and let the future happen, come what may. I say this as a guy who runs a sport site where rampant speculation is what we do as much as breathing.

Funny how things work.