Fresh off a 19-point comeback win against Iowa on Saturday, the Nebraska men’s basketball team is back in action Tuesday night against Wisconsin.
The short turnaround between games puts a bit of stress on the Huskers as they don’t have much time to put into their Wisconsin game plan. Before the Iowa game was moved to Saturday, the Huskers had planned on using the weekend for Badger prep, according to coach Tim Miles.
With the win Saturday, Nebraska is riding higher than it has in recent weeks. Miles hopes the success will carry over to Tuesday.
“We have no time before Wisconsin, so I sure hope it does because they are a buzz saw,” the coach said. “It has to give the guys confidence, but it’s not where the goal is, so we have to keep winning to get to our goal. We have to stay involved with the process.”
The quick turnaround puts a little more pressure than usual on Miles and staff, but it’s nothing they can’t deal with, according to the coach. Having played the Badgers once already, the Huskers know what to expect.
“The second time around I don’t think it’s as critical,” Miles said. “You know how to handle a back screen. You know how to handle a side screen, you know. Sometimes I think we can overplay game planning. Let’s go out and compete and see how that goes for us.”
Wisconsin comes into the matchup winning five of its last six games, including wins against then-No. 3 Michigan and then-No. 13 Ohio State. The Badgers are fighting for a top seed in the Big Ten tournament and in the NCAA tournament come March.
Miles said he has a ton of respect for his team’s next opponent.
“They are good,” the coach said. “They are underrated because they are so fundamentally sound, hard to beat. They are very talented, but because they play so well together, and they just share the ball, move the ball, I think they are underrated as individual players.”
The Badgers aren’t short on skilled players either, according to Miles. Forwards Jared Berggren and Ryan Evans average 11.9 and 10.3 points and 7.0 and 7.6 rebounds per game, respectively.
“I think they have more talent than people give them credit for, and obviously, they are really well-coached,” Miles said. “Bo, you look at the success he’s had in the Big Ten, and he’s a model for a lot of us young guys moving up.”
The Huskers — with four games left on their schedule — need a win or two down the stretch to enhance their own postseason resume. Beating Wisconsin would be significant.
“We still have a goal of getting to the postseason, whether that is the NIT or the NCAA,” forward Brandon Ubel said. “We still need to get a couple more, if we want to get to the NIT, but (beating Iowa) was the first step, and we took it.”
A win Tuesday is the next step if Nebraska is serious about the postseason.