Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Biggest College Basketball Game in Nebraska?

The NCAA Selection Committee was smiling on the Cornhusker State. First off, Nebraska is a football state, and we all know how that's worked out lately, when the calendar turns to Winter, Husker fans quickly jump the "I'm a Creighton Basketball fan, I've always loved Bluejay Basketball."
And when to Bluejays go south for the Winter, Nebraska latches onto the always reliable Kansas Jayhawks. So this year, Kansas should be able to avoid any first or second upsets since they'll pretty much have home court advantage.

The biggest game, and maybe the most hyped and most watched game of the First Round is Beasley/Mayo, Kansas St./USC. The game will be played at the Qwest Center in Omaha and yes, it's quite possible these two sick ballers will be 1 and 2 in June's NBA Draft.

What's even better about these two playing each other is the fact that one of these guys will give Nebraska a second viewing.

It's amazing the selection committee gave this game to Nebraska. They could have put this match up in basketball crazed Carolina or major markets D.C. or Denver. I mean the state has never been known for quality basketball. The 1993 class of Eric Strickland, Terrance Badgett, and Andre Woolridge is the most noteworthy.

Other huge basketball games the state has played host to:
Nebraska playing Kansas in Lincoln and knocking off the Jayhawks being ranked in the top 5 (1992 & 1993).
Nebraska pulling off maybe their biggest non conference upset in 1990 when Beau Reid drilled a game winning 3 to knock off Steve Smith and Michigan St. when Sparty was a top 5 team.
I also recall Nebraska upsetting the Byron Houston/Big Country led number 1 Oklahoma St. Cowboys in 1994.

The old Civic Center in Omaha played home court to Creighton Basketball when the Tony Barone and the Blue Jays (Chad Gallagher/Bob Hartsted era-1990) beat the Missouri Tigers, led by Doug Smith/Anthony Peeler.

Who knows, five years from now, this game may become bigger than it is right now.

It's been great watching Bob Knight on ESPN. Not only the fact that he continues to slouch and has no idea which camera is on, but everyone else wearing suits and the General wearing some cheap ESPN sweatshirt.

This all coming from a guy who once made statements about these statements about the media:
"Everyone learns to write when they're in second grade. Than they go on to bigger things."

"When I die, I want them to bury me with my face in the ground so my critics can kiss my ass!"

Biggest question/concern about March Madness? What does Joe Lunardi do for the next 11 months?

1 comment:

Dirtylaundry said...

Omaha has had some nice Creighton games over the past decades, and a decent December game that pitted Nebraska against Oregon. But you have to think that one of the six games this weekend will be regarded as the biggest ever not just in Omaha, but Nebraska.

However, you should do a column on the top 10 games of the Danny Nee era played in Nebraska. Particularly look at the Piatkowski/Chubbick four year run. What Nee did for NU Basketball is so underappreciated it's sick. Sadler is only showing signs or getting close to that point, and the big word is that he's not going to stay at NU for long.

Nee had four great teams during the Pike & Chub run, including a #3 seed for the 1990-91 team that lost in the first round of the tourney. In fact, all four of those teams got nice seeds in the Dance only to lose in the first round. Nee also had a great team with Tyronne Lue, only to lose to Nolan Richardson's Razorbacks in the NCAA Tournament. Unfortunately, that's the tag that seems to stick with Nee: That he couldn't win at least one tournament game. Which is a shame because for a good length of time, Nee built a great program at a football school in an extremely competitive basketball conference.

And when you think of it that way, we all need to tip our hats to Danny Nee, because who knows when Nebraska basketball will reach those heights again...