Nebraska basketball dominated from beginning to end by Wisconsin Badgers

The Nebraska basketball team never really looked like they were in any kind of sync from the opening tip on Saturday.
Jan 6, 2024; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin guard Kamari McGee (4) scores on Nebraska forward
Jan 6, 2024; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin guard Kamari McGee (4) scores on Nebraska forward / Mark Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

The Nebraska basketball team came into Saturday afternoon’s game against the Wisconsin Badgers hoping to show they were for real. Hoping to show they were someone even the powers of the Big Ten needed to really make note of this season.

Instead, a stinker of a game in Madison means just how good this Cornhuskers team really is, still an open question, especially on the defensive end of the floor. On the flip side, it’s clear that the Badgers are indeed, a very good team. Perhaps better than they’re getting credit for right now.

Whatever the explanation, the Nebraska basketball team look unsettled and unorganized on both offense and defense right from the opening tip. Meanwhile, the Badgers couldn’t miss to start the game and played a staunch enough defense that they were able to build a 22-12 lead eight minutes into the game. From there, they never really looked back.

In many ways, the game against Wisconsin felt like the contest against Creighton and the second half against Minnesota. Things seemed to spin out of control, the opponent couldn’t miss and a modest lead turned into a blowout. 

With three minutes to go in the first half, Wisconsin led Nebraska basketball 48-28 and to the Huskers’ credit, they were able to fight back and make it a 13-point game at the half. But they just didn’t have the ability ever really make it a game after that.

Nebraska basketball bombed from deep

The single biggest reason for the Huskers’ getting sunk on Saturday was the Badgers’ dead eye shooting from deep. Wisconsin came into the day averaging six three-point field goals a game. Today they had 13. On 26 shots.

They shot 55 percent from the field. And when they weren’t hitting from long range, they were too often finding space in the paint. 

Despite some out-of-sync offense that helped build a deficit they couldn’t overcome, it wasn’t as though Hoiberg’s Heroes were completely inept offensively. They hit 12 of 26 three-point shots, including Keisei Tominaga’s 3-for-6 and 17 points. 

They also shot 49 percent from the field overall. A better defensive effort, or a game where Wisconsin missed a shot or two, and the day could have wound up entirely different.

Alas, not only is the Nebraska basketball team 2-2 in the Big Ten, but they are 0-2 on the season against teams ranked at the time and have lost by an average of 22.5 points. Those are not encouraging numbers with Number 1 ranked Purdue due to come to Lincoln on Tuesday night.