Nebraska basketball: Time for NCAA Tournament selection committee to believe in Huskers

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Don’t believe your eyes, Bruce Rasmussen?

Fine. Believe Greg McDermott.

Believe John Beilien.

Believe Bill Self.

Rasmussen is the chair of the NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament selection committee, which makes him the most powerful man in America for about 12 hours.

He’s also the athletic director at Creighton, the blue basketball thorn in the side of a Big Red state. The Bluejays, former beasts of the Missouri Valley and the kings of Omaha, have adapted nicely to life as the westernmost outpost of the Big East. They’ve beaten the Huskers seven straight times, rallying for a 75-65 win at CenturyLink Center back on Dec. 9.

Rasmussen, by the way, is McDermott’s boss. He’s also reportedly seen Nebraska in person at least three times this season, including a 76-64 win Sunday over Penn State that saw the Cornhuskers end the regular season with a 22-9 mark, 13-5 in the Big Ten.

Hey, it’s a short trip. And an easy one, a no-brainer, to scout yourself.  Whether that’s a good or a bad thing, we’ll know in about two weeks.

Believe, Bruce.

Believe in James Palmer Jr.

Believe in Isaac Copeland.

Believe in the Bench Mob.

Believe in the mojo. The Cornhuskers have won 10 of their last 12 in one of the six toughest conferences on the continent. Compare that to the rest of the bubble brigade:

  • St. Bonaventure: 10-2
  • USC: 9-3
  • Kansas State: 8-4
  • N.C. State: 8-4
  • Providence: 7-5
  • UCLA: 6-6
  • Syracuse: 6-6
  • Baylor: 6-6
  • Penn State: 6-6
  • Texas: 6-6
  • Louisville: 6-6
  • Washington: 6-6

Believe, Bruce.

Believe in the urgency.

With or without Rasmussen in the stands, the Big Red came out Sunday as if they were playing for their basketball lives. They’ll have to do the same Friday in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament, having earned the final double bye in the dance before The Dance.

Same engine.

Same fire.

Same outcome.

“What they need is quality wins. That’s what they’re lacking, is quality wins,” CBS Sports bracketologist Jerry Palm told Land of 10 recently when asked about Nebraska’s postseason outlook. “Their margin for error is not that big.”

And the next steps now are small and obvious:

  1. Hope for No. 17 Michigan (24-7, 13-5) in the quarters.
  2. Beat the Wolverines.
  3. Do that, and it’s 23 victories on the ledger and, more importantly, a second Quad 1 win — this one on a neutral floor in which everyone knew the stakes were dangling in the stratosphere.

At that point, you’re daring the committee not to reward a team that beat a lock for the field (Michigan) twice — including once away from its home floor.

Believe in the eye test.

It matters, especially down the stretch.  And whether he’s in Lincoln, Omaha, or hunkered down in Indianapolis, even Rasmussen can see that this is the kind of act that plays anywhereBracketville, especially.

The post Nebraska basketball: Time for NCAA Tournament selection committee to believe in Huskers appeared first on Land of 10.

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