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3 keys and a prediction for Nebraska Basketball vs Minnesota in Big Ten Tourney



Nebraska Basketball

Nebraska basketball opens the Big Ten tournament on Wednesday hoping to improve its postseason resume and here’s a look ahead to Minnesota.

If it doesn’t seem that long ago that Nebraska basketball matched up against Minnesota, that’s because it was less than two weeks ago.

The Golden Gophers hung around in the game in Lincoln. They also pushed Nebraska basketball to overtime earlier in the season and if you think the Gophers have mailed it in, consider the fact that they beat Rutgers last week and nearly beat Wisconsin — two teams fighting for the NCAA tournament.

Nebraska, which in a recent NIT projection, received a No. 4 seed, is even considered “on the bubble” by a few experts and if the Huskers could string together four wins (which would mean making the Big Ten title game) my bet is that the Huskers have a decent shot at an at-large bid.

A win over Minnesota is definitely needed to help their NIT prospects. Remember, small conference champions get an automatic berth into the NIT, so there aren’t tons of at-large spots available.

Win the first two games and Nebraska basketball should be playing at least in the NIT, regardless of what happens elsewhere around the country.

First things first, Nebraska needs to beat Minnesota, and here are three keys, as well as a prediction.

Don’t sleep on the Gophers

The reality is that both teams are likely heading home for the season with a loss. Nebraska’s resume would take a huge hit if it lost to Minnesota and the Gophers can only keep their season going as long as they keep winning.

Winning the first game in a tournament is always difficult and Minnesota was competitive in each game. You can bet the Gophers view this as a winnable game. Dawson Garcia and Jamison Battle are also talented enough to cause problems if they get hot and Battle isn’t the greatest defensive matchup for Nebraska.

Sam Griesel is really the best option. At any rate, Nebraska should win this game. It’s also March and you don’t want to fall victim to an upset because you were looking ahead at bracket projections.

Limit the extra possessions

One way a team can have a chance in a game like this is extra possessions and for Minnesota, that means offensive rebounds — something Nebraska really struggled to corral against Iowa and Michigan State.

Minnesota outrebounded Nebraska basketball 35-32 in the last game in Lincoln and grabbed eight offensive rebounds compared to six for the Huskers. What countered that was the 19 turnovers for Minnesota compared to just 10 for Nebraska.

The Huskers need to win the turnover battle again and as long as they keep things close on the boards, that will bode well. Minnesota has struggled all year, but if you allow a team to get second-chance points and points off turnovers, Then you have the recipe for an upset.

Lean on your seniors

Sam Griesel was spectacular against Minnesota in the previous win making 6-of-11 from the field as he scored 19 points. The Gophers don’t have a great matchup for him and I wouldn’t mind seeing him in the post either.

Derrick Walker is another focal point of the offense. Minnesota probably matches up better inside with him than most, but I’d still take Walker one-on-one against just about anyone. The big man went 4-of-12 in the first meeting but I don’t see him shooting 30-some percent again, plus he still had four assists.

Whether Walker is scoring or creating, the ball needs to touch his hands on almost every possession and Griesel can’t be an afterthought. Jamarques Lawrence, the Big Ten Freshman of the Week, and Keisei Tominaga have stolen the show in recent weeks, but to win in Chicago, the Huskers need big-time production out of their seniors.

My bet is they’ll get it.

Nebraska basketball vs Minnesota prediction (9 PM EST approximately, BTN)

The Huskers are a 6.5-point favorite tonight against Minnesota. It’s been well-documented that Minnesota isn’t a pushover, but the Gophers have struggled all year to score. Nebraska should expect a dog fight and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was close at the half.

However, I think Nebraska pulls away late and wins 69-60 to advance to the second round of the Big Ten tournament against Maryland on Thursday.

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Nebraska Basketball: Guard Denim Dawson enters transfer portal



Nebraska basketball redshirt freshman Denim Dawson entered the transfer portal on Wednesday, as more moves continue to be made within the basketball team. This was first reported by 247Sports’ Travis Branham.

Dawson had his moments for Nebraska basketball this season. He made his first start against Purdue back in December. He had three rebounds and two assists in 25 minutes of play. He then was able to continue his strong play in the second half of the season when he had seven points and eight rebounds in 30 minutes. Dawson was active on the glass against Penn State when he recorded nine rebounds.

It could be said that Dawson never had a fair chance to crack the rotation due to the players in front of him. Nevertheless, Dawson had raw athletic ability, and it was easy to see why he was recruited to the program.

Dawson was a three-star recruit and was the 32nd overall player in the state of California for the 2022 class.

What does this move mean for Nebraska basketball?

This move makes sense for Dawson, as Nebraska basketball has several guards on the roster already. Jamarques Lawrence is one of them, and he was able to take on a big role for the program. This is a case of there being too many mouths to feed on the roster. The emergence of Lawrence also probably played a bit of a role as the latter looks to be a staple for the program.

It will be interesting to see where Dawson ends up. He is certainly a talented player, but Nebraska basketball was not the right fit for him at this time.

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Podcast: What’s next for Nebraska Basketball after missing NIT?



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Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Our latest podcast discusses whether Nebraska Basketball should have missed the NIT, look at what’s next, and more.

It’s the start of another week, Husker fans, and in terms of the Nebraska basketball team, we got some disappointing news on Sunday night.

Nebraska was on the NIT bubble even before its loss to Minnesota last week in the Big Ten tournament. While some NIT projections had the Huskers barely making it in the field, Nebraska basketball was left on the outside looking in.

Chris Peterson and Danny Jaillet are each on the show in their usual spot and offer up their thoughts on whether Nebraska basketball was treated fairly. The loss to Minnesota was bad, but Nebraska also beat Maryland, Penn State, Creighton, and Iowa (twice) — all teams that made the NCAA tournament.

The Huskers also beat Wisconsin and Rutgers, two teams that made the NIT. The loss to Minnesota was bad but the Huskers had a quality resume. However, their 16-16 record wasn’t all that impressive and again, that’s where the loss to Minnesota hurt.

What’s next for Nebraska basketball?

Now that the season is officially over for the Huskers, we can look toward the future. The biggest question is what will Keisei Tominaga do? Will he return for another season, or go to Japan?

There is hope the Huskers can do some things with NIL, although Keisei is limited to earning “passive income” such as money from jersey sales. He can’t actively promote products. It’s always possible things could change with those NIL rules, but at the end of the day, if money is the driving factor, Japan is probably the best bet.

Tominaga has become a star over there. He’s also a star to Nebraska basketball fans and could have as big a following next season as any Husker — ever.

I’m not saying he would be the best player by any means, but social media didn’t exist when Tyronn Lue was around for instance. It would be fun regardless. Nebraska basketball also needs to add some transfers.

We talk about all that and more. We also touch on Nebraska football recruiting, so check out the full episode of the Husker Big Red Podcast below:

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Nebraska Basketball season ends with defensive thud vs. Gophers



Nebraska basketball lost to the Minnesota Golden Gophers by a 78-75 margin on Wednesday night. There were several crucial plays towards the end of the game. The basketball bouncing off of Sam Griesel while Nebraska tried to score was a difficult break. Two illegal screens in a row also did not help matters. Nevertheless, there was one major theme. The defense struggled throughout the evening.

It wasn’t as if Nebraska had answers for Minnesota either. Minnesota shot 51.9% from the field and 41.7% from beyond the arc.

One of the biggest problems for Nebraska on Wednesday night was being able to stop scores from the inside. Minnesota was able to have their way inside in several aspects. Minnesota freshman Pharrel Payne had six points and four rebounds on the evening. On the other end of the floor, he played solid defensively, shutting down Nebraska big man Derrick Walker.

Jaden Henley and Dawson Garcia had their way inside as well. They finished with 14 and 18 points respectively. They were able to pick apart the Nebraska basketball defense with quick passes and their ability to muscle inside. To be frank, Nebraska basketball had no answer for the inside game, and it became clear that this was going to be a major problem throughout the course of the game.

The defense inside the paint was not the only problem. Nebraska basketball struggled all night in terms of rotations and not getting to the shooter quick enough. They were unable to close out on a player such as Garcia, and he made them pay, going seven-of-13 from the field. He gave Minnesota the lead on a three-ball with 8:35 left in the first half, and the Gophers never looked back.

The aggressive rotations and aggressiveness overall that Nebraska displayed all season defensively was missing. They did not have the defensive energy to match Minnesota and it was noticeable early on. Minnesota was able to play however they wanted offensively, and they were able to establish their dominance inside, opening up space for perimeter shooters. It looked like a cat playing with a mouse.

It was a defensive thud to end the season for Nebraska basketball. Now the offseason begins and questions remain unanswered.

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