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Nebrasketball: Make Fun Of My 2019-2020 Pre-Season Predictions!

It’s been a few months since the season ended, and a few more than that since I made my season predictions. How dumb were they?!

NCAA Basketball: Michigan State at Nebraska Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

It is basically June now, so the season has long since ended. Good news is the start of the next season (if there is one as normal) is just over five months away! However, before we fully turn the page, and hopefully before the Nebraska Cornhuskers release their full non-conference schedule to start breaking down, I thought you might all enjoy the opportunity to roast the writing staff here (or really mostly just me in this case) over my predictions for the season. If you need a refresher what they were, you can go back and read them:
Nebrasketball: B1G Men’s Basketball Preview Part 1-The Basement
Nebrasketball: B1G Men’s Basketball Preview Part 2-The Mushy Middle
Nebrasketball: B1G Men’s Basketball Preview Part 3-The Cream of the Dairy Store
Corn Nation Roundtable: B1G Basketball Predictions

So let’s start by taking a look at what I said the results would be:

  1. Michigan State Spartans
  2. Maryland Terrapins
  3. Ohio State Buckeyes
  4. Purdue Boilermakers
  5. Wisconsin Badgers
  6. Michigan Wolverines
  7. Illinois Fighting Illini
  8. Indiana Hoosiers
  9. Iowa Hawkeyes
  10. Minnesota Golden Gophers
  11. Penn State Nittany Lions
  12. Rutgers Scarlet Knights
  13. Northwestern Wildcats

I never picked where Nebraska would finish, but I said I could see them finishing anywhere from as high as 8th to as low as 13th but definitely not last place. Spoiler: They finished last.

Now let’s look at what the Corn Nation staff picked (or at least those who remembered their civic Husker duty to vote that is):

1. Michigan State
2. Purdue
3. Maryland
4 (T). Michigan
4 (T). Ohio State
6. Wisconsin
7 (T). Indiana
7 (T). Illinois
9. Nebraska
10 (T). Iowa
10 (T). Penn State
12. Minnesota
13. Rutgers
14. Northwestern

Now how did the official standings look at the end of the season?

1 (T). Michigan State
1 (T). Maryland
1 (T). Wisconsin
4. Illinois
5. (T). Ohio State
5. (T). Penn State
5. (T). Iowa
5. (T). Rutgers
10 (T). Indiana
10 (T). Purdue
12. Minnesota
13. Northwestern
14. Nebraska

Yeah, so about some of those picks...

I basically pegged Michigan State and Maryland (Turg did almost implode down the stretch and miss out on the title to be fair to me, but pulled it off). As for Wisconsin, well, fine. I was a tad off as they tied for first instead of the fifth place finish I predicted. Frankly their finish is more of a condemnation of the conference than anything, though.

I was too harsh on Illinois as my seventh place prediction saw them just one game shy of a share of the conference title.

Rather than finishing in third place, Ohio State wound up in a four way tie for fifth place.
Iowa, who I had pegged for a ninth place finish. In my defense I will all remind you that we did not know whether Bohannon would play or not and I mad the pick assuming he wouldn’t. Do not bother remembering he missed most of the conference season in the end and they still finished tied for fifth.
Penn State who I had picked for an 11th place finish. Pat Chambers finally had the season where he would make the NCAA tournament before a global pandemic cancelled it all. I was way off on them, but I did say in the comments for that pick that I merely wanted to see results on the court before getting burned again by giving the Nittany Lions any credit.
And... OH MY GOD RUTGERS FINISHED OUTSIDE THE BASEMENT! That’s right, the Scarlet Knights finished in a four way tie for fifth place. We were all harsh on Rutgers, so if you make fun of me for that I will call you a hypocrite and you know I will be right.

Oh the glee I am going to have on this next point. MAKE FUN OF ME FOR BEING TOO NICE TO MICHIGAN! Seriously, what was I thinking?! A first year head coach with zero college coaching experience? His roster had a ton of production loss. He was facing the toughest conference in college basketball possibly ever (in the modern statistical era that is). Why on earth did I think this team would finish in 6th place?!?!?!?! Good God, I need to be roasted to the moon and back over this pick! They finished in 9th place with a .500 record people! In all fairness, a certain commenter liked to poke fun at me throughout the season and I would like to take this opportunity to highlight his own pre-season prediction:

That’s right! Michigan would finish inside the top 5, and Franz Wagner would win BTFOTY. Guess what, though? They finished 9th with a .500 record, and Illinois’s Kofi Cockburn won BTFPOTY. Please take a bow Freddy1A. (I still don’t care about your arena enough to remember if I am spelling it correctly any given instance.)

Well, I try to be nice to one of the basketball teams that I hate, and look what they did to me. Yes, I am talking about you Purdue. I said you would probably finish 4th in the standings, and you tied with Indiana for tenth! I had picked Indiana to finish 8th, so that’s close enough I am going to give myself a pat on the back and a particpation ribbon.

Speaking of tenth, I picked the Gophers to finish tenth. They finished in 12th. Close enough, right? Finally, will you look at that?! I picked Northwestern to finish in 13th place and guess where they finished! Never-mind I technically picked them to finish in last place, now you are just being overly nit-picky on details as a reader. I said 13th and they finished 13th, and that is all that matters is I was right about them!

Hopefully you were not keeping score there. If you were, then a technical and nuanced count would show that I was 2-for-13 on my picks. Given nobody ever picks ties in their conference predictions that I can think of, I am going to be generous and say that I actually finished 4-for-14. Call that cheating if you want, but I was basically right on MSU, Maryland, Northwestern, and Nebraska. So I got a whopping 28.5 percent right by that generous scoring.

As for the staff predictions? Well, even being super generous and spotting the pick of Ohio State tying for fourth place as being close enough to the Buckeyes actual fifth place tie, a mere 21.4 percent on the picks. To his credit, Patrick did individually say MSU and Maryland would tie. As for some of the other roundtable answers? Well, obviously no Wednesday tournament team went on to win the banner in Indy. The B1G was unable to beat least year’s conference record of 8 teams making the NCAA, but safe to say at least nine, maybe ten would have.

What about the conference finish? Well, my description of a mushy middle wasn’t terribly off base, but nor was it greatly accurate. A mere three games separated the three way tie at the top from the four way tie for fifth place. However, after that it was a stark drop by the time you got to the bottom two teams. Only one team in the conference managed to finish with a winning record on the road, while two others finished .500. Nebraska was the only team to go win-less on the road, while also finishing on a 17 game losing streak. The two “NU’s” are also the only teams with a losing record at home.