Connect with us


3 keys and a prediction for Nebraska basketball vs. Creighton



Nebraska basketball
Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Nebraska basketball faces a major test on Sunday with Creighton coming to the Vault. Here are three keys and a prediction.

On Sunday, we’ll find out just how good the Nebraska basketball team is as the 15th-ranked Creighton Bluejays, the Huskers’ in-state rival will invade the Vault.

It’s sold out and it’s going to be rocking. Nebraska basketball is 7-0 and this feels like a team that could break the Huskers NCAA tournament drought.

Beating Creighton would certainly help in that regard. It would be a Quadrant 1 win. The two teams will meet at 3 PM CST and the game will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1. Here are three keys for the Huskers and a prediction.

Defend the 3-point line

Creighton always shoots the ball well, but the Blue Jays are shooting lights out from deep this season and rank in the top 18 of college basketball in 3-point attempts, 3-point makes, and 3-point percentage. Creighton averages 12 3-pointers per game, which is second in all of college basketball.

Yet, the good news is that Nebraska has been stellar at defending the 3-point line. The Huskers are long for one thing and they have allowed opposing teams to shoot just 26.2 percent. They also give up just six makes per game, which is about half of what Creighton knocks down per game.

So if you’re talking about a game within the game, it’s the 3-point shooting for Creighton.

Keisei Tominanga needs to deliver

Games like this are the reason that Tominaga came back to Nebraska. It’s going to be a ranked opponent and this is when you need your big-time players to shine.

Tominaga has been outstanding this season for Nebraska basketball, averaging 14.6 points per game and shooting 40 percent from beyond the arc. He’s also above 70 percent on 2’s and continues to be stellar moving without the ball.

The Vault is going to be waiting to explode and Tominaga is the guy that can blow the roof off. Nebraska is going to need him to have a classic performance tonight — the shooting, the playmaking — it all needs to be there for the Huskers to knock off a ranked Creighton squad for the second straight year.

Winning the 2-point battle

You have to be able to knock down 3-pointers in this day and age of college basketball. There’s no debate about that, but protecting the rim is still the most important thing.

Nebraska has been outstanding at attacking inside this season. Rienk Mast and Josiah Allick are both talented low-post scorers, plus the Huskers have guys like Tominaga and Juwan Gary who are shooting better than 70 percent inside the arc.

Scoring at the rim isn’t all about post play. The Huskers have been particularly effective inside and shot 55.9 percent on 2-pointers which ranks 50th in college basketball. The defense also ranks 18th in 2-point percentage defense.

Creighton is ranked 12th in 2-point percentage and 28th in 2-point percentage defense. So that battle will be just as important as the 3-point and the 2-point war is one the Huskers can’t lose.

Nebraska basketball vs. Creighton prediction

Baylor Scheierman is one of the best shooters in the country, while Ryan Kalkbrenner is a 7-footer who is averaging nearly two blocks per game and shoots 37 percent from 3-point range. The bottom line is that the Blue Jays are ranked 15th for a reason. They also don’t foul and don’t turn the ball over.

Their rebounding isn’t great and the offensive glass is one area where the Huskers need to find an edge. Defense and rebounding led to the upset in Omaha in 2022. Nebraska basketball will need to use a similar formula this time around, except this Huskers squad is more skilled and in my opinion, better defensively.

Outside of Tominaga, Brice Williams, Juwan Gary, and Jamarques Lawrence will be key for their defense, plus the bigs inside need to control things on both ends.

Creighton is a 4.5-point favorite but I just don’t buy it. The crowd will be electric and the better defensive team will win on Sunday, which is going to be Nebraska.

Prediction: Nebraska 72, Creighton 66. 

For More Nebraska content, follow us on Twitter, like our Facebook Page, and Subscribe to the Husker Big Red YouTube Channel. You can also find our podcast on Apple or Spotify. 




Chris has worked in sports journalism since 2005 writing for multiple newspapers and websites such as the Bleacher Report and Fansided before starting Husker Big Red, A fan site for hardcore followers of the #Huskers offering articles, podcasts, videos and more exclusive content on all things Nebraska