(Photo – Kenny Larabee)
Tim Miles probably won’t have a job by the end of the NIT. Also, Nebraska is down to just seven available players. What else is new, though? Facing the prospect of their season ending in Chicago during the Big 10 Tournament, the Huskers kept on winning. Now, they’re in the second round of the NIT, and they’re not looking back.
“Since the Big 10 (Tournament) started, if we would’ve lost a game earlier on, the season would’ve been over,” senior forward Tanner Borcahrdt said. “We’re in the same situation now.”
The Huskers have risen to the challenge, showing a renewed commitment and energy that has been present since the second half of the Michigan State game on March 5th, according to Borchardt. “Just, the focus. You can see it in practice and you can definitely see it on the floor,” he said.
Miles isn’t worried either. “Honestly, I don’t have any concerns,” the head coach said. “We’ve got them in a good place and we’re going to do everything we can to keep them there.”
If Nebraska wins on Sunday, a juicy matchup awaits – a rematch with Creighton at the CHI Health Center in Omaha. But first, they’ll need to topple the No. 1 seed, TCU.
“I think it’s just, go out there and have fun, control your own destiny type of play,” Borchardt said of the game plan.
Nebraska had a raucous Pinnacle Bank Arena crowd at their back for their first round win over Butler. That’ll be absent when they take on the Horned Frogs in Fort Worth, but Miles says the Huskers are battle tested when it comes to playing on the road.
“Once you’ve been through the Big 10 and the way the environments are in the Big 10 on the road, not many things match that,” Miles said. “I don’t think it’ll be as punishing as those other venues are.”
The Huskers will at least have Brady Heiman back, who missed Wednesday’s game with a back injury. However, NU will most likely be without Thomas Allen, who could be used in an “emergency,” Miles said, but is still not 100%. The sophomore guard was averaging 8.7 points per game before he picked up an ankle injury during their game against Michigan on February 28th.
Coverage for Nebraska and TCU will begin at 7:30 on KLIN. Tip-off is at 8:30.