NEW YORK — If the majority of bracket projections are to be believed, Nebraska is on the border of abutting a baby club it wants no amalgamation with.
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Only two times in the history of the broadcast NCAA Clash (since 1985) has a above appointment aggregation won at atomic 13 amateur in its alliance and bootless to get an at-large bid. Both of those cases not alone happened in the aforementioned year (2012) but happened in the aforementioned appointment (Pac-12).
Those two teams — Washington and Oregon — additionally absent their aboriginal appointment clash bold aback in 2012. The aforementioned is accurate of Nebraska (22-10), which went 13-5 in the Big Ten approved division but took a morale-deflating 77-58 accident at the calmly of Michigan on Friday. Unfortunately for the Cornhuskers, this additionally agency they are in accident of authoritative Big Ten history by actuality the aboriginal aggregation anytime to win 12 or added amateur in that alliance and be shuttled to the NIT.
“It’s not the history I appetite to make,” NU drillmaster Tim Miles told CBS Sports.
Only alert (Illinois in 1991 and Ohio Accompaniment in 2016) has a Big Ten aggregation won 11 amateur and not becoming an at-large. In an era back the alternative lath has generally eschewed selecting acute mid-major teams in favor of power-conference programs with added opportunities to aces up acceptable wins, Nebraska ability be fabricated an archetype of in year one of the Division Era.
Our bracketology able Jerry Palm doesn’t accord Nebraska abundant of a chance.
“Nebraska’s all-embracing resume is appealing agnate except their win over Michigan is better,” Palm said actuality at Madison Square Garden, in comparing Nebraska of this year to Washington in 2012.
But the situations are flipped. The Pac-12 had one top-60 aggregation that season. The Big Ten has six in the top 60 now.
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But afore putting clay of the Huskers’ grave, let’s attending at how Nebraska got to this point because I anticipate there are acquaint actuality to be abstruse and distinctions to be fabricated by the committee. We’ll alpha with the Big Ten. It’s account pointing out how the Cornhuskers will apparently be a victim of bad timing and uncontrollable scheduling as abundant as annihilation else. (There are added affidavit too, but let’s alpha with this.)
The Cornhuskers happened to be a acceptable Big Ten aggregation in a bottomward Big Ten year. Coaches in the alliance will expectedly batten with the angle that the Big Ten is down, but empiric abstracts and boilerplate metrics do not lie. The appointment ranks fifth in KenPom and Sagarin. That is acceptable but not top-tier. The Big Ten does not assemblage up to the Big 12, Big East or ACC this season. Nebraska’s 13-5 almanac is a acrid sword. The Huskers were not afforded home amateur adjoin the best teams in their league, annexation them of division one opportunities. They played Michigan State, Purdue and Ohio Accompaniment already apiece, all on the road, and absent anniversary time. Nebraska was non-competitive at MSU (86-57), absent by 12 at Purdue (74-62) and couldn’t absolutely abduct one adjoin the Buckeyes (64-59).
The actuality Nebraska accomplished fourth in the Big Ten is immaterial to its continuing with the committee. And although this altercation won’t had acclimated by the committee, one could altercate that Nebraska alone accomplished fourth in the alliance because it did not accept to comedy MSU, Ohio Accompaniment or Purdue twice. Had it played a tougher alliance schedule, Nebraska could calmly accept tallied added losses and not alike been on the balloon to activate with.
Nebraska could not ascendancy its Big Ten slate. It’s not right, it’s not wrong, it’s aloof how it is and it’s a blister the aggregation charge bear. NU rallied backward in the season, acceptable eight of 10, but late-season achievement isn’t a factor. And above that, the alliance wasn’t activity to acceleration the advance for all boats.
So here’s the affair with the Cornhuskers and article that every drillmaster in a above appointment should accede activity forward: Your alliance can aching you as abundant as it can advice you, and how you agenda in non-conference is ascendant to architecture your seeding/selection case. This may assume obvious, but Nebraska’s asperity proves that appointment achievement cannot, and sometimes will not, save you.
Prior to Nebraska’s accident on Friday, only eight of 80-plus entries on the always-valuable BracketMatrix.com had Nebraska in the field. The bigger acumen for this is Nebraska’s abridgement of Division 1 victories. The division arrangement is a new boggle to the aggregation bedding for the alternative committee. A Division 1 aftereffect is authentic by a bold that is played at home adjoin an RPI adversary ranked 1-30; a aloof bold vs. a aggregation whose RPI is 1-50; and a alley bold adjoin a RPI aggregation in the 1-75 echelon.
“At the end of the day, if Quad 1 is the angelic grail, that’s a boxy deal,” Miles said. “But I don’t anticipate Quad 1 is the angelic grail. There’s boxy wins in Quad 3.”
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We can artifice with the RPI but the actuality charcoal that it is still the metric actuality acclimated to body out team-sheet abstracts and is how the quadrants are separated. Nebraska entered Friday with a 54 RPI. That cardinal should dip afterward its loss. Its Division 1 almanac is 1-6. Division 2? Nebraska is 2-3.
Forebodingly, 10 of Nebraska’s 22 wins are in Division 4.
That is a ache active through the Huskers’ clash profile, accentuated by two scheduling decisions that abide to abrasion Nebraska’s numbers. Miles autonomous to agenda home amateur adjoin Delaware Accompaniment and Stetson during the Christmas holiday. Stetson has eight wins vs. D-I opponents. Delaware Accompaniment has alone two — and it ranks as the second-worst aggregation in the action at KenPom.com. Aftermost season, those teams ranked beyond the lath as Division 4-level competition. There is no acute acumen for a Big Ten academy to anytime agenda a aggregation who ranks in the 300s. Those amateur metabolize to abandoned calories on the résumé every. single. time.
Had Miles called to agenda top-tier teams from the MAC, Ohio Valley or Summit League, Nebraska not alone would accept a bigger RPI number, but it would accept beneath babble in the black amnion of division 4. Scheduling decisions fabricated months ago will abode the Huskers for the abutting nine days. I asked Miles if he agreed that Stetson and Delaware Accompaniment could in allotment doom his team’s chances.
“They could,” Miles said. “We played two Appointment USA teams that aren’t allowance us as bit. They’re killing us.”
Those teams would be North Texas and UTSA, both of which are Division 4 wins.
Miles had a abundant band back asked what he would accept done abnormally with this season, and scheduling, in retrospect.
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“I ability accept switched a awning adjoin Kansas,” he said. “That would accept fabricated me feel a hell of a lot better.”
Nebraska absent 73-72 at home adjoin the Jayhawks on Dec. 16. The baby things can accept huge impact, be it a scribbling a awning on a whiteboard or demography a alarm from Delaware State. If Nebraska has that win over Kansas, its NCAA Clash fate is abundant added of a accident and arguably the best acute agitation in the week-plus architecture to Alternative Sunday.
And of course, the way Nebraska concluded Big Ten comedy is additionally problematic. A 19-point accident on a aloof cloister is not abrogation a acceptable impression. Miles accomplished by arena walk-ons in the final minute Friday. Bruce Rasmussen, who is an able-bodied administrator in the accompaniment of Nebraska and confined as armchair of the alternative committee, was in Madison Square Garden on Friday. The Cornhuskers did not accompaniment their case for the better.
What’s at comedy actuality is an absorbing abstract agitation that coaches apparently charge to absolve for. The actuality that Nebraska played three absolutely bad opponents (Marist is additionally a wart) doesn’t allege to how able or anemic NU is. But nonetheless, the actuality that it appointed those amateur is allotment of why Nebraska could defended a top berry in the NIT.
“We aloof absent on [a brace teams],” Miles said. “Like, Eastern Illinois — how acceptable are they? They were declared to be the best aggregation they’ve had. They comedy us to four, they got to Marquette in overtime.”
Eastern Illinois is 12-19.
The lath frequently sends letters in agriculture and selection, like who you agenda in non-conference matters. If you beef up your win absolute with buy games, you’re not alone not activity to be adored for that, but it could be captivated adjoin you.
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