The Nebraska Cornhuskers basketball team entered Saturday evening in a must-win situation. When the smoke cleared, the Huskers won the game handily and saw themselves in a much better NCAA Tournament bubble situation than they did when the day started.
As the sun rose on Sunday morning, the Nebraska Cornhuskers jumped four spots in the NET rankings, from 57th to 53rd. They’re also 51st in KenPom rankings. Both numbers are excellent news for a Huskers team that needs to finish the season climbing the rankings.
It wasn’t just their 20-point win over Michigan that helped their NCAA Tournament bubble chances. Nebraska also got some help from other bubble teams that didn’t have anywhere near as good a day.
Nebraska Cornhuskers get NCAA Tournament bubble help
It’s not very often that the Huskers thank Creighton for a job well done, but their win over Xavier did indeed help Fred Hoiberg’s squad. The 78-71 win dropped Xavier to 52nd from 50th. It’s possible Nebraska and the Musketeers are vying for the same tourney spot. NU might now have the edge if it’s a judgement call.
Boise State fell to 48th in the NET rankings after a 19-point loss to Utah State. The Broncos are still a couple of spots ahead of Nebraska in the NET but a few spots below the Cornhuskers on KenPom. Yet another head to head matchup probably favors Hoiberg and company.
St. Johns dropped a close one to 7th-ranked Marquette on Saturday. Their bubble chances are still very, very good but it took a hit.
Huskers’s bubble chances take a hit with these teams
Michigan State looks like a team that is now going to get into the tourney. On the one hand, the Spartans winning helps the Nebraska basketball’s SOS. On the other hand, if the two teams are competing for a spot, then MSU gets the nod. They solidified their case with a win over an Illinois team NU couldn’t quite beat.
Kansas State is currently the only road win the Nebraska Cornhuskers have on their resume. Unfortunately, they’re struggling a bit down the stretch. On Saturday they lost to BYU. Oddly, they rose two spots in the NET rankings, but it’s still another loss for a team that the Huskers hope can get into the Top 75 in the NET so NU can have another Tier 1 win.
The Florida Gators beat beat 12th-ranked Auburn by 16 points. Thanks to that win, the Gators jumped from 38th to 31st in the NET. That likely takes them off the bubble, barring a collapse. That’s a team the Nebraska Cornhuskers were hoping would fade and open up another spot in the tourney.