Nebraska’s loss to Michigan put the Huskers’ NCAA Tournament hopes in dire straits. They won’t play again during the Big Ten’s extended pre-Selection Sunday layoff. What you see now is what the selection committee will use to judge the Huskers.
“I tell you what, if we win, we’re in I think,” Nebraska head coach Tim Miles told reporters after the game. “You’d sweep a 5-seed. You’d have a former Q1-win with Minnesota. I think it would be a lock almost. Now we’ll wait it out.”
Nebraska’s regular-season schedule meant the Huskers would have had to beat top-15 teams Michigan State, Ohio State, Michigan or Purdue in conference play to gain wins that would impress the selection committee. The only one of those teams the Huskers played at home, Michigan, is the one they beat.
A 1-point loss at home to Kansas hurts here, as does a road loss at Creighton. The NCAA Tournament sorts games into “quadrants,” with quadrant one wins serving as the goal for any team.
“We’ve had some tough luck in the schedule,” Miles said. “If quad one is the holy grail, we’ve got a real problem on our hands. If you look at what we’ve done though, we’ve competed against high-level teams, we’ve beat high-level teams. Today, we could have lost a quadrant one win. So we could have beat them, knocked them above 30, we would have lost our home quad-one win and replaced it with this one. So come on, what do you do? I don’t believe that’s the holy grail, I don’t think it’s the end-all-be-all.
“The issue for us is all our quad-one road games were top-20 games, not top-75. So that’s just how the schedule broke.”
Now, Miles says he’ll make a practice plan and run it by the captains. After all, Nebraska’s headed somewhere for postseason play even if it’s not the NCAA Tournament.
“If we practice, we’re gonna practice,” Miles said. “I don’t care what tournament we’re in, we’re gonna practice to go win in that tournament.”