The college basketball season is in full swing with the vast majority of teams in the country having played at least one game by now. Last season was a wash for everybody. The season was called in early March, which included the NCAA Tournament. That was the first time in its history that March Madness was pulled.
When the NBA and NHL stopped play and postponed their seasons, the writing was written in big letters on the wall for the NCAA. Along with the women’s tournament cancelled, the NCAA lost out on approximately $375 million. That just goes to show how big of a business college sports are.
Nebraska was not thinking NCAA Tournament last year. Nor were they anticipating going to any of the other tournaments. The NIT was a mile out of reach from the Cornhuskers. They finished with an abysmal record of 7-25 overall in 2019-20. Their effort in the Big Ten was a joke, as Nebraska went 2-18 across 20 contests. They lost a staggering 17 straight games to end the season.
Covid-19 might have ended the college basketball season for every team, but let’s be honest, Nebraska ended their season long before that. They can’t blame a 17-game losing streak on anybody but their own terrible effort. It’s been very clear so far what the Cornhuskers want to establish this season.
Bully teams with their defense and turn up the pressure. If they can do that, Nebraska can etch out an identity that was non-existent in 2019-20. Instead of letting the action come to them, Nebraska has been attacking defensively. They should be fine offensively, but if they’re going to be competitive, it will have to start with their defense.
The Cornhuskers are off to a 2-1 start in the 2020-21 campaign. An embarrassing 0-17 stretch is enough to get any team interested in playing better basketball. Nebraska are fresh off a 79-57 win over a fairly solid North Dakota State squad. Their other win was over McNeese State to open the season, 102-55. Nevada is the only team to defeat Nebraska this season, 69-66. Head below for our free South Dakota vs. Nebraska pick for December 1, 2020.
South Dakota Coyotes vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers NCAAM Betting Odds:
South Dakota vs. Nebraska Prediction:
The defense was out in full force for Nebraska against North Dakota State. They were relentless defensively, which has to be refreshing to see after the garbage Nebraska fans were subjected to last year. The energy was there for Nebraska on Saturday. They held NDSU to 57 points in a 79-57 victory. Defensively the Cornhuskers held NDSU to 29 percent shooting and forced a whopping 17 turnovers.
Teddy Allen has been the catalyst for Nebraska on defense. He has been extremely active defensively, and is third in the country with 4.3 steals per game through three games. If they have the same motivation to bully South Dakota, then Nebraska should be able to inch away from the Coyotes on Tuesday night.
Pittsburgh transfer, Trey McGowens, is going to make Nebraska a better team than we saw last year. He averaged 11.6 and 11.5 points the last two years in Pitt. McGowens is likely to take on more of a role with Nebraska. So far he’s shooting 36.7% from the field, and has been dangerous from deep, with a connection rate of 40% from beyond the three-point line. While Nebraska has room to grow this season and beyond, they are a much better team than last year.
South Dakota are off to a 0-2 start after falling to Colorado, 84-61, and Drake, 69-53. The Coyotes had a productive season a year ago, as they finished with a record of 20-12 for third in the Summit League. North Dakota State, who Nebraska just beat easily, were a spot ahead of South Dakota at 25-8.
Their offense failed to get going against Colorado and Drake, two defenses that didn’t attack as much as Nebraska is expected to on Tuesday. I suspect that the pressure from the Cornhuskers’ defense will prove to be too much for them tonight. If Nebraska is in the same form, they should win here by 16-18 points at home.