Nebraska basketball shows its potential in loss to Kansas

(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

The Nebraska basketball team looked like the better team on Saturday night against Kansas.

The Nebraska basketball team had a chance for possibly its biggest non-conference win in decades, if not ever. With around 25 seconds in the game and the Huskers trailing by one, they had two shots to take the lead and missed them both.

In the end, the Kansas Jayhawks walked away with their 19th straight victory over Nebraska. This game still felt very different from those other 18 losses.

The story of this “rivalry” has largely been “can the Cornhuskers keep from being run off the court?” The answer was usually “no.”

Nebraska Cornhuskers Basketball
Nebraska Cornhuskers Basketball /

Nebraska Cornhuskers Basketball

On Saturday night, Nebraska not only showed it could play against the Jayhawks, but seemed to actually be the better team. While KU led most of the game, it always seemed like that was due more to the Huskers not playing great, than the Jayhawks being clearly better.

It’s been a long, long time (maybe it’s never happened?) since the Huskers’ play was frustrating in a game like this because you knew if they played just a little better they could win.

The Huskers shot 49.6 percent from the field. They shot 36 percent from behind the 3-point arc. They forced 12 turnovers.

Unfortunately, they also committed 14 turnovers of their own. That was part of the reason the Huskers couldn’t close the deal.

Nebraska also tended to pass up an inside shot for one that was long range. They did it over and over, despite the fact that when they did go inside, they tended to have quite a bit of success.

The Jayhawks did block three shots, but that’s just a fraction of what the Huskers did with their seven. The Huskers passed up yet another inside shot on their final possession.

After driving to the middle, the Cornhuskers decided to try a long, contested three-pointer that clanked off the rim. James Palmer Jr. got the rebound and had a chance for the put back.

That put back didn’t go in and the Jayhawks escaped the upset bid. While the loss was disheartening, it did show that the Huskers appear poised to be taking the next step.

The Nebraska basketball team has now finished what was a murderer’s row of four opponents. They may have only gone 1-3, but 3-1 was a realistic outcome they were almost able to achieve.

The Big Ten has been a bit of a mess this year. Other than Michigan State, it doesn’t appear as if there are any teams that are unbeatable.

The Nebraska basketball team might just be 7-5, but it seems like they’ve got the best chance in a while to make a run towards and some noise in the NCAA tournament.