Another week, another 3-point shooting record for an opponent.
In desperate need of a win before the postseason, Minnesota made 18 of 35 3-point attempts and barely broke a sweat against Nebraska.
The Big Ten Network broadcasters said it looked like a practice session for Minnesota, and they weren’t exaggerating. Sophomore guard Gabe Kalscheur made an astonishing eight of 11 3-point attempts, three more than Nebraska made as a team.
Sophomore center Daniel Oturu was expected to pose the biggest threat to the Huskers in this game, but Minnesota’s outside shooting allowed him to play a leisurely 23 minutes. That could be helpful for Minnesota’s upcoming week, given that it has to win a lot of games in a short amount of time to make the NCAA Tournament.
The saddest part is that this isn’t even the first time Nebraska has allowed this many 3-pointers in a game. Wisconsin hit the same mark back in January, meaning this wasn’t something that happened due to the suspensions of sophomore guard Cam Mack and junior guard Dachon Burke Jr.
A fitting end to a season to forget.
Nebraska’s program-record losing streak is up to 15 games. The past two games have been absolute blowouts.
The Huskers had some impressive moments and showed glimpses of the future throughout year one of the Fred Hoiberg era, but it’s clear that everyone is ready to move on from this failed attempt of a season.
Today’s loss wasn’t due to a lack of effort. The seven players that saw action gave their all, but were simply outmatched. That’s been a familiar story this whole season.
This isn’t like 2011 Iowa State or 2019 Nebraska.
There have been a lot of comparisons between this year’s team and Fred Hoiberg’s first team at Iowa State. After all, that team did lose 10 consecutive games in conference play too.
But that team still beat Nebraska and Colorado in March. That team didn’t see two of its best players be suspended indefinitely.
The other comparison that has been made is between this team and last year’s Nebraska team that finished 13th in the Big Ten. The comparisons are especially eerie after the suspensions put the Huskers down to seven available players.
But last year’s team that won two games in the Big Ten Tournament still had its three best players. This year, Nebraska proved it can score with its backup backcourt, but getting stops was practically impossible.
What has happened this season has been a new low for both Hoiberg and Nebraska’s program.
Credit to the guys still playing on this team.
As for the seven players still out there, credit to them.
This is an undesirable situation, but it’s a chance for them to show that they are capable of playing for either this team next year or another Division I program. Junior guard Jervay Green didn’t shoot the ball particularly well, but did fill up the stat sheet with 15 points, five rebounds and three assists.
Haanif Cheatham is in his final days as a college athlete and is making the most of it, taking 22 shot attempts in 38 minutes on Sunday. Freshman forward Akol Arop even made his first 3-pointer of the season.
Perhaps the most impressive stat was the 14-of-17 mark from the free throw line. Freshman forward Yvan Ouedraogo, who accounted for eight of Nebraska’s 22 missed free throws a week ago against Northwestern, made four of six attempts on Sunday.
Wednesday night’s Big Ten Tournament game is fascinating.
It’s official. Nebraska will face Indiana (19-12, 9-11) on Wednesday night in Indianapolis. The Hoosiers have ended this season losers of three of their last four, but will have a home court advantage with tickets being sold for $25 or less.
Indiana head coach Archie Miller is quickly losing favor with both media and fans, especially after his bizarre attack on bracketologists after yesterday’s loss to WIsconsin. He has never won a game in the Big Ten Tournament, and the Hoosiers went 4-10 in the event over the past decade.
In fact, the Hoosiers haven’t won a Big Ten Tournament game in Indianapolis since 2012. Indiana also has the third-worst winning percentage in it ever, sitting at 12-22.
Miller, whose team is perilously hanging onto one of the last spots in the NCAA Tournament, badly needs at least one win in the tournament. A loss to Nebraska would sink the Hoosiers’ hopes immediately.
The Huskers did play two of their better games of conference play against the Hoosiers, taking them to overtime in December on the road and losing at home by eight in January. But Burke and Mack combined for 40 and 32 points in those meetings. If their suspensions continue, which Hoiberg said he hasn’t decided on yet, Nebraska’s chances at spoiling Indiana’s season are slim to none.