You couldn’t have painted a better picture of executing a gameplan perfectly. The way the #13 seeded Nebraska Cornhuskers took down the #5 seeded and #21 team in the nation Maryland Terrapins, was shocking. That 69-61 victory was one that the Big Red didn’t leave a lot of doubt in. Nebraska will now have to face the #4 seed and the #19 team in the nation, Wisconsin and try to pull off another upset to keep their season alive and get a tournament bid of some kind whether it’s the Big Dance or the NIT.
Wisconsin comes into this ball game at 22-9 and 14-6 in the Big Ten. This group also has won three games in a row with their most recent game a win over Ohio State 73-67 in overtime. Their numbers are solid as usual for the Badgers. They are averaging 70 points per game while shooting 46% from the field.
The key player in this one is senior Ethan Happ. The 6’10 senior has had another productive season yet again as he is averaging a double-double at 18 points and 10 rebounds per contest. He has been an issue for every opponent this season, Nebraska though was able to keep him in check for the most part despite the 62-51 as he only scored 10 points and had nine rebounds.
For the Huskers, this matchup is more favorable than the Maryland game, but there are a number of factors that come into play for this game. The first being containing Happ down low. The Big Red showed they can stop big men as yesterday as Bruno Fernando and Jalen Smith combined for just 11 points and 12 rebounds. That’s some tough work right there. Happ is a different animal but Tanner Borchardt will be up for the task. The next factor is fatigue. This will be the third game in three days for Nebraska and they will begin to feel tired. Especially with seniors James Palmer Jr. and Glynn Watson Jr. playing 40 minutes against Maryland. Also, with just a seven-man rotation and only eight players available, it makes it tough to stay fresh.
The Huskers will need Palmer Jr. and Watson Jr. to keep up their strong play. Palmer Jr. had 24 points on 8-13 shooting, outstanding numbers for him as the shot has been a little inconsistent this season. For Watson Jr., he had 19 points on 6-12 shooting, so the senior leaders have been coming up big. Isaiah Roby had 15 points, but that was on 6-17 shooting. The number of shots he’s taking isn’t the issue, it’s the number of makes. Look for Nebraska to try and get him rolling early to build confidence.
Nebraska and Wisconsin will tip-off at 2 P.M. and pregame will begin at 12:30 P.M. on KAMI Country Legends FM 92.7, 100.1, and on the AM 1580.