Nebraska basketball will open its road schedule in the Big Ten Wednesday night against Minnesota and here’s how to watch, as well as predictions.
The Nebraska basketball team it proved it could beat a good team on the road last week against Clemson and Wednesday night, the Huskers will look to prove they beat a solid team on the road in Big Ten play too.
After beating Illinois in the Big-Ten opener last Sunday at Pinnacle Bank Arena, Nebraska basketball heads to the Barn tonight to take on the Gophers, in the second early-season Big Ten game for the Huskers. Following this one, Nebraska will host Creighton Saturday.
As far as Minnesota is concerned, the Golden Gophers are fresh off a 23-point blowout loss at the hands of Ohio State. Yet, the Gophers are still a solid team and rank 55th according to Kenpom, so it’s not a game the Huskers should overlook.
Last season, Nebraska won in the Barn and so Minnesota will certainly want to avoid a repeat of that. The Gophers also likely want to avoid a 0-2 start in Big Ten play as badly as the Huskers are hoping to reach 2-0.
We will dive into matchup a little further below, but before we do that, here is some basic info such as how to watch and stream.
Game 9: Nebraska vs Minnesota
When: 8 PM CST
Where: The Barn (Minnesota)
Stream: BTN 2 Go
Radio: Huskers IMG Radio
What to expect
Minnesota is a deliberate team that wants to get the ball inside and attack the basket. Jordan Murphy is one of the best forwards in the Big Ten comes in averaging 14 points and 12 rebounds. In part because of him and an attacking style, the Gophers rank 21st in the country in free throw attempts and 33rd in made free throws.
Minnesota also does not shoot the 3-pointer very much. The Gophers make around six 3-pointers a game and rank outside the top 200 in both 3-pointers made and attempted this season. Yet, as you can imagine with Murphy, they are one of the top offensive rebounding teams in the country, which will be a huge key tonight for the Huskers.
Nebraska still has one of the best defensive teams in the country, however, it will be interesting to see how they defend Murphy inside. If there is one weakness on the roster, it’s big guys inside. But if Nebraska can hold Murphy in check, keep Minnesota off the line too much and limit second-chance points, it should have a good chance to win.
Don’t be fooled though, Minnesota is a solid team, one that has already beaten the likes of Utah, Washington, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M. Richard Pitino’s team has talent and it’s just another solid team in the Big Ten.
This is going to be a tough test for Nebraska. The Huskers just got into the AP Top 25 and you would hate to see them lose their momentum. A fast start is going to be key and a few 3-balls early in the game wouldn’t hurt.
James Palmer, Glynn Watson Jr. and Isaac Copeland will really need to step up and find a way to hit some shots against a team with a decided height advantage. One thing that has worked well for Nebraska, is turning defense into offense. The Huskers are good at forcing turnovers and Minnesota averages around 15 a game.
That’s an area of the game where Nebraska has to win. Then, as long as the Huskers can keep things relatively even beyond the arc, at the free throw line and on the boards, Nebraska should escape the Barn with a win.
Final score: Nebraska wins a close one, 69-65.