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NCAA Tournament Prediction: Nebraska Falls Out Of Tournament With Own Undoing

In their final hurrah before heading to the Big Ten, the Nebraska Cornhuskers failed to bolster their chances in a showdown with Colorado this weekend of NCAA tournament bubble teams. Both the Buffaloes and Cornhuskers had been considered fringe teams who need to add as much to their resumes in the last week or more of the season, and one team had to go down. Still the Huskers seemed on the verge of breaking through late in the season only to lose at this last second. For those unfamiliar, Nebraska started the season impressively at 13-2, including 11 wins in a row, although it was clear they were winning against much inferior competition (see opponents like Grambling, Jacksonville State, Hofstra, South Dakota, etc.). The Huskers were bound to come down entering conference play, but even early losses were close like a 63-60 loss on the road at Kansas. Yet over time, Big 12 foes began to take their toll and placed the Huskers on the edge of contention for a Tourney spot. Middling conference has always hurt Doc Sadler's teams, and this season was no different. Yet down the stretch, the Huskers pieced together a string a few weeks ago versus Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and against No. 2 Texas. It seemed the Huskers were resurgent at the perfect time to claim their spot in the post-season. Then came losses to Kansas State and Iowa State in overtime. Even a late season win against Missouri couldn't heal the wounds that had been inflicted. The Colorado game was essential. Samuel McEwon says it best from the Nebraska State Paper when he writes, "Despite the ugly start, the free throw misses and the turnovers, it was there for the taking, the at-large NCAA Tournament berth the Nebraska men's basketball team has waited more than a decade to claim." In fact, they'd already beaten Colorado by 12 earlier in the season. Simply put, the Huskers didn't step up when they needed to most, and their inconsistency against their peers did them in. Perhaps things change with the Big 12 tournament, and any college basketball fan will tell you anything is possible. Yet with the way Nebraska is playing, there's little reason to believe they won't lose in the first two rounds of the post-season.