Huskers go down in second round

Any chance of Nebraska making a Cinderella run in the postseason has come to an end. Texas A&M defeated the Nebraska Cornhusker, 70-64, which eliminated Nebraska from the Big 12 tournament.

With 18:49 to go in the game, it looked like Texas A&M would walk to the Big 12 semifinals.  The Aggies held a 16 point lead over the 12-seed Huskers.  Nebraska head coach Doc Sadler called a timeout, and tried to get his team to regroup.  

From that point on, Nebraska showed what Sadler would call character.

The Huskers went on a 19-5 run, which was capped off by a three pointer from NU senior forward Ryan Anderson.  The Aggies lead was down to two, and Nebraska showed they weren't backing down easily.

Nebraska continued to claw back after that.  With 4:24 to go in the game, redshirt freshman Jorge Brian Diaz spun in the lane and threw in a bucket, which made the score 54-53.  However, that would be as close as Nebraska would ever come.  

NU guard Brandon Richardson gave his best attempt to draw a charge, but the referees decided not to blow a whistle.  Texas A&M capitalized, courtesy of guard Donald Sloan.  Sloan drilled a three pointer to give his Aggies a four point lead, and all the momentum they needed.  

"Donald Sloan is their A.C. Law," said Doc Sadler.  "A.C. Law made so many big shots that senior year.  Donald Sloan did the same.  He stepped up and made that play." 

Nebraska cut the lead to four three different times after that point, but could never get any closer.  After the game, Doc Sadler told the media he thought his team was in line to win the game. 

"As I told our team at halftime, you know, I thought they were the team with their backs to the wall instead of us," said Sadler.  "And we had to pick up the effort to have a chance to win."  

Nebraska entered the conference tournament as the 12-seed with just a 14-17 record.   But the Huskers sent shockwaves across the nation with a win over Missouri in the first round.  Outside of Lincoln, not too many people would have ever predicted that upset.  Nebraska continued to show their fight with the valiant effort to comeback against the Aggies.   

"I think it showed the character of our team," said senior forward Ryan Anderson.  "We fought hard all season. At conference time we fought really hard. And we came out here and we fought really hard." 

After the season-ending loss, Nebraska head coach Doc Sadler admitted his team's scrappy effort did not come as a surprise.  For Sadler, it all came down the character. 

"To be honest with you, that (second half comeback) doesn't surprise me, because that's the way this team has competed every night," Sadler said to the media after his team's loss.  "Obviously, we're disappointed, disappointed in the end of the season.  But as I told the team, the character in that locker room is really, really strong.  And you know, I hear stories that athletics is supposed to teach you lifelong lessons, and if that's the case then these guys are going to be very, very successful people, because their character is unbelievable."

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