IU Insider Blog: Big Nebraska game

Nebraska is 9-1 at home this season and has beaten Ohio State and Minnesota recently in its new arena. Next up is the Hoosiers, a team in desperate need of another road win or two. This is a big one for IU.

I think it's safe to say that most Indiana basketball fans, when they looked ahead at the 2014 Big Ten schedule, penciled in the Nebraska game as a win.

Nothing against the Cornhuskers, but the perception is the Nebraska is a football school.

If Indiana ever appears on Nebraska's football schedule (which is does seem odd hasn't taken place yet), you can bet that Nebraska fans will be penciling in a win for the Huskers.

It's just the way it is.

But anyone who thinks that tonight's game with Nebraska is going to be an easy win, may want to look at it this a little more closely.

Or ask Ohio State and Minnesota what they think about that easy win? Both the Buckeyes and the Golden Gophers have gone to Lincoln in the last two weeks and come home with losses.

Nebraska is 9-1 at home this season and that only loss was a 71-70 decision against Big Ten bully Michigan.

Need more evidence? Nebraska is favored in Las Vegas by either a point or a point and a half.

Myself, all I need to remember is the one and only time I went to Lincoln, Neb. It was the 2011-12 season and Indiana was ranked No. 13 going on the road to play the Cornhuskers. IU was 3-3 in the Big Ten and Nebraska was 1-5. The Huskers were averaging something like 50 points per game in league play.

None of it mattered though. It was still a Big Ten road game and conference teams seems to play better at home, though that didn't seem to matter a lot for Ohio State or Wisconsin Wednesday night.

But on that night in January of 2012 at the old Devaney Center in Lincoln, Nebraska stunned the Hoosiers 70-69. Bo Spencer was unstoppable and IU squandered a 13-point second half lead. I can still see Jordan Hulls' shot at the buzzer from in front of the IU bench that was kind of a runner that was off target.

The ball caromed back toward Hulls as the buzzer sounded and the students rushed the floor and Jordan kicked it in frustration. It was one of those nights.

And that was a Nebraska team that had an 8-9 record coming into the game. This Nebraska team is 10-9 going into tonight.

This is a big game for Indiana if the Hoosiers hope to have a shot at a postseason berth. Truthfully, we'll probably be saying that for most every game from here on out. But it's especially true for the road games where you thought Indiana had a chance going in. And this has to be in that category.

But anyone who has checked out ESPN's Bracketology lately knows all they need to know about the importance of this game.

In the most current one, the Big Ten has six teams in the dance but Indiana is not one of them. In fact, the Hoosiers were not one of the first or second four out either.

In other words, the Hoosiers have a lot of work to do.

That job begins tonight in Lincoln.

Follow Terry Hutchens at Twitter.com/Foxsportshutch

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