Does Nebraska basketball belong in the NCAA Tournament? Even with 13 days separating bubble teams from Selection Sunday, that’s an interesting topic on a lot of minds this week with the Big Ten regular season in the books.
The Huskers finished in fourth place in the conference, going 13-5 in Big Ten play and 22-9 overall. In most years, the Huskers would be a shoo-in for the big dance. But in a down season for the Big Ten, some analysts are not so sure if Nebraska has enough quality wins on its resume.
But the Huskers do have the backing from the Big Ten’s most-accomplished coach. Michigan State’s Tom Izzo weighed in on Nerbaska’s tournament chances Monday, and he said the Huskers should “definitely” be in the field of 68.
“Everybody’s into the analytics. I’m into the eye test. There’s probably a happy medium. But in my eye test I think Nebraska is definitely an NCAA Tournament team, with that kind of record and those kind of numbers,” Izzo told reporters. “Even the analytics does that – the strength of schedule thing can get skewed by so many different ways. But yeah, I think there’s no question that Nebraska is (in).”
John Beilein, who saw his Michigan team lose to the Huskers by 20 in January, also complimented Nebraska on Monday.
“Never do I try to say I know as much as the committee knows,” Beilein said. “They do a tremendous job of sorting this out. All I know is [Nebraska] is a really good team. We’ve got six road wins – five in our league. And that [Nebraska game] was one of those ones and we had to sit everyone down and say ‘We’re not winning this one, let’s get rest for the next one.’ ”
Nebraska is the No. 4 seed in the upcoming Big Ten Tournament and will play its first game Friday at Madison Square Garden.
Land of 10’s Chris Bumbacca contributed to this report.
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