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Nebrasketball: Battle in the Vault Queens Royals Preview

NCAA Basketball: Nebraska at Kansas State Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Nebraska Cornhuskers wrap up non-conference play Tuesday night in what is technically a neutral court matchup. The Huskers will take on the Queens University Royals as part of the Campios Battle in the Vault event at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln Nebraska.

Tipoff for Nebraska-Queens is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Central Time or 30 minutes following the conclusion of the matchup between Drake and No. 17/20 Mississippi State, which will begin at 4 p.m. The day begins with a matchup featuring Concordia against Oklahoma Wesleyan at 1 p.m. The Nebraska-Queens game will be available at B1G+ and on the Huskers Radio Network, while the other two games will be exclusively available at

Queens University is in its first year as a Division I member after being a longtime power in Division II basketball. The Royals made the NCAA Division II Tournament in each of the past seven seasons, including a Final Four and two Elite Eights. As a new Division I program, Queens is not eligible for the NIT or NCAA Tournament until 2026-27 because... well, because the NCAA is stupid, frankly. There is no good reason for that long of a timeline, let’s be real.

Head Coach Grant Leonard — a longtime assistant with Queens since 2013-14 — is in his first season in charge of the program. He played collegiately at William Penn College in Iowa. Leonard has worked as an assistant at Paine College, Flagler College, UT-Pan American, and Washington College prior to joining the staff at Queens.

The Royals returned four starters from a team that went 30-4 last season. Queens has enjoyed an impressive start, boasting a 9-2 record heading into the matchup against Nebraska. QU — a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference — opened the year with a one-point win over Marshall (10-2) and is riding a four-game win streak coming into Tuesday’s game following a 78-75 win at East Tennessee State on Dec. 14.

Fifth-year starter Kenny Dye, a 6-foot-0 guard for Queens, leads the team in scoring (17.6 ppg) and assists (4.2 apg) while shooting over 50% from the floor and nearly 60% from behind the 3-point arc. Sophomore guard A.J. McKee is the only other Royal scoring double figures, averaging 12.7 points per game. While not many players are hitting big figures, nine are averaging at least 5.0 ppg.

Tuesday marks the first meeting between Nebraska and Queens, to nobody’s surprise. Following the game, the Huskers will be off for nine days, returning to action and Big Ten play against Iowa on Dec. 29.

  • When: Tuesday, Dec. 20, for the time just read the preview above
  • Where: Pinnacle Bank Arena (15,000) - Lincoln, Nebraska
  • TV: N/A but streaming B1G+
  • Radio: Huskers Radio Network; Kent Pavelka (play-by-play), Jake Muhleisen (analyst)
  • Broadcast Stations: KLIN (1400 AM) in Lincoln, KKCD (105.9 FM) in Omaha, KHYY (106.9 FM) in Scottsbluff, and KAMI (1580 AM) in Lexington
    Also available on and the Huskers app.
    The pregame broadcast with Pavelka and Muhleisen begins one hour before tipoff.
  • Betting Odds: Unavailable at time of publishing because the opponent is a nobody