Nebraska Basketball Schedule Breakdown
November 21-24 – Top of the World Classic (Fairbanks, Alaska)
The Huskers face Centenary in the first round of a relatively weak preseason tourney. The Gents are coming off of a 14-13 season, in which they did beat Texas A&M, but they lost their second and third leading scorers. Andrew Wisnieski led the team with 19.6 points/game last year and could average even more than that this year. If the Huskers used the exhibitions to shake off any first game jitters, then this one should be pretty easy. Huskers Win. Record: 1-0
The probable second round game is Wisconsin-Green Bay, who was terrible last year at 9-21 in the Horizon Conference. Another Husker Win. Record 2-0.
The Championship game of this tournament could be against any one of three teams: Weber St., UC-Santa Barbara, or Ball St. All three are pretty good mid-major schools and could trip up the Huskers. I don't see this happening after Nebraska has already started building confidence with a 2-0 start. Chalk up another win. Record 3-0.
December 1 – UT-San Antonio 2 pm
The home opener for Nebraska against a Roadrunner team that returns three starters from a team that lost at Devaney last year, 81-63. This is the first of many weak home non-conference games on the schedule. UTSA gets run out of town. Record 4-0.
December 5 - @ South Florida 6 pm ESPN2
The Bulls could cause some problems for the Huskers, a notoriously bad road team. Nebraska won only one road game last year (Texas A&M) and must overcome this hurdle in order to crack the top 6 of the Big 12. If this game had been played last year, the Huskers would have lost, but this year's team is more talented and it does not hurt to have South Florida lose its top two scorers from a year ago. Huskers win a tight one. Record 5-0.
December 8 – Minnesota 2 pm
The Gophers are ranked 24th in both preseason polls and will be the stiffest test on the non-conference lineup. Preseason Big 10 Player of the Year Rick Rickert is one of only two returning starters, but the Gophers should be able to replace those lost with their very good depth. This is the first good team Nebraska will have faced and, even at home, Rickert is likely to tough to handle. Gophers win a close battle. Record 5-1.
December 14 – IUPU-Ft. Wayne 7 pm
The Mastodons have a tough nickname, but a weak team. This team went 7-21 last year and lost its leading scorer. This should be a fun one for Husker fans to watch if you like blowouts. Big Red Rout. Record 6-1.
December 21 – Creighton 7 pm
Test #2 comes against in-state rival Bluejays, who have won the past three games in this series. The Bluejays have all five starters back from their NCAA tourney team, but the Huskers will be more than ready for this one after battling Minnesota two weeks earlier. You know what they say about payback… Huskers roll CU. Record 7-1.
December 27-28 – ASU Hoops Classic (Tempe, Arizona)
The Huskers could possibly face the Gouchos from UC-Santa Barbara for the second time this year since both teams play in Alaska to start. Nebraska should consult new play-by-play man Randy Lee about this team since he covered their games last year. Huskers should sneak by the Gouchos. Record 8-1.
The championship game will more than likely be against host Arizona St. Former Lincoln East grad Shawn Redhage is one of the leaders for the Sun Devils. ASU is not a very tall team, so the Huskers could win their second "tournament" of the year. Turek dominates this one. Record 9-1.
December 31 – Eastern Washington 2 pm
January 4 – Denver 2 pm
January 7 – Lipscomb 7 pm
Three stinkers to finish up the non-conference slate. Eastern Washington is the only team who might compete with Nebraska, but that won't happen. Huskers build more confidence before the Big 12's grueling schedule begins. Win, Win, Win. Record 12-1.
January 11 - @ Kansas 12:45 pm ESPN+
Thanks to the Big 12 schedulers for this one. Is there any better way to start the conference then at the best team's arena? A close game from the Huskers could be a great springboard to finish the year, but a blowout would not ruin this team either. Jayhawks in a pretty easy one. Record 12-2, 0-1 Big 12 .
January 15 – Texas A&M 7 pm
The Huskers beat the Aggies on the road last year, so having them at home will make this game a cakewalk. Nice to have the Aggies to get the first Big 12 win against. Huskers roll. Record 13-2, 1-1 Big 12.
January 18 – Colorado 7 pm
If the Huskers are looking to finish 6th in conference, then this is a game they cannot lose. Buffs have some talent, but should not challenge Nebraska at home. Nate Johnson could really dominate this tilt. Record 14-2, 2-1 Big 12. Note: Huskers ranked at this point?
January 22 - @ Kansas State 7 pm
Wildcats look awful on paper, but Bramlage Coliseum has been a house of horrors for Nebraska in the past 8 years. The Huskers only win there in that time frame was two years ago. A must win for Nebraska. Nebraska will break the curse. Record 15-2, 3-1 Big 12.
January 25 - @ Iowa State 12:45 pm ESPN+
Like Bramlage, Hilton Coliseum has not been friendly to Nebraska either. It has been four straight losses and will probably be a fifth to an improving Cyclone club. The JUCOs for ISU will have gelled by this game and should be able to defeat the Huskers. Hard to win in Hilton. Record 15-3, 3-2 Big 12.
January 29 – Missouri 7 pm
The talented Tigers come to Lincoln fresh off of a trip to Texas to face the Longhorns. Hopefully, the Tigers will be beaten down and unable to get up for this game because that would make things easier. If that doesn't happen, then the Huskers need to bring their best game to beat Mizzou. It will happen. Record 16-3, 4-2 Big 12.
February 1 – Kansas 1 pm ESPN
A potential match-up with #1 Kansas after the Jayhawks had back-to-back games with Arizona and Texas. The nation will be able to see how talented this Husker team is, but it won't see them win. KU wins an exciting battle. Record 16-4, 4-3 Big 12.
February 5 - @ Texas Tech 8:15 pm
Raiders seek revenge for last year's rout in Lincoln and, if Andre Emmitt is healthy, they will get it. Bobby Knight gets a T and a W. Record 16-5, 4-4 Big 12.
February 12 – Oklahoma State 7 pm
The Cowboys lost last time they visited Lincoln. More talent combined with growing confidence will lead the Huskers to victory. Huskers stop two-game losing streak. Record 17-5, 5-4 Big 12.
February 15 – Texas 12:45 pm ESPN+
Texas snuck by a hot shooting Nebraska squad last year and will probably do so again this year. T.J. Ford is too much for Huskers. Record 17-6, 5-5 Big 12.
February 18 - @ Missouri 7 pm
Tigers look to bounce back after loss at Lincoln earlier in the year. They get it done with Ricky Paulding going off. Mizzou with the W. Record 17-7, 5-6 Big 12.
February 22 - @ Baylor 3 pm
This is a make or break game for the Huskers. A win could propel them into the top 6 to stay, but a loss could put them in the 8 or 9 seed slots. The Huskers will have worked to hard to let this opportunity slip away. Nebraska D wins this one. Record 18-7, 6-6 Big 12.
February 25 – Kansas State 7 pm
This one could get really, really ugly. A win over Baylor will propel Nebraska to a huge win. A loss will make them so angry that the Wildcats do have a chance. Either way, a Husker win. Record 19-7, 7-6 Big 12.
March 1 – Iowa State 7 pm
Last year featured an avalanche of fouls and a Husker win in overtime. Nebraska won't need any overtime this year. Larry Eustachy cries after this one! Record 20-7, 8-6 Big 12.
March 4 – @ Oklahoma 7 pm
OU is a great team and destroyed Nebraska in Lincoln last year. Unless the Huskers shoot lights out this could be a blowout. Sampson's boys notch another win. Record 20-8, 8-7 Big 12.
March 8 - @ Colorado 8 pm
This game may decide if the Huskers are NCAA or NIT bound. Boulder has not been too hard on Nebraska in the last few years, but the Buffs have the height to compete with anybody in the conference. Their guard play should be improved by this time as well, but Barry will win his Coach of the Year title with this game. Collier's Crew gets it done. Record 21-8, 9-7 Big 12.
March 13-16 - @ Big 12 Tournament – Dallas, Texas ESPN+
I think the Huskers will finish 6th in conference and play Texas A&M in the first round. Beating the Aggies leads to a showdown with Oklahoma in the next round and the Sooners will prove to be too tough again. Huskers split a pair, but try on their dancing shoes on March 16 when they are invited to the Big Dance. Record 22-9, 9-7 Big 12.
March 20-23 – NCAA First and Second Rounds – TBA CBS
Huskers will have already had a successful season by this point, but will look to break through and win their first NCAA game. After losing all six of their NCAA tourney games, Nebraska seems to have a hex on them. That hex continues when they play a better team in the first round. Huskers will blow up that losing streak in 2004!!
Final Record 22-10, 9-7 Big 12.
This may be a little optimistic with a trip to the Dance, but I truly think the Huskers have it in them. Season gets under way at midnight tonight. Get ready for the Big Red!!!