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Moving on and moving up

January 31, 2010 at 8:51pm By: D.M.B. Posted in D.M.B. Sports Report

Two more wins since we last talked for the women’s basketball team.  A 89-47 drubbing of Texas Tech in Lubbock and a 80-64 win over Colorado in Boulder.  The Tech win was a significant one because it was Nebraska’s first victory in Lubbock in 7 tries.  Plus, though 6 games in the Big 12 they have won 4 of their 8 scheduled road games.  From here on out Nebraska will play 6 home games as opposed to 4 on the road. 

Nebraska continues to move up in the polls as they are 6th in the AP poll and an astonishing #4 in the Coaches poll.  Nebraska will most likely move up two spots in the AP poll as both Ohio State and Tennessee lost in the previous week (Nebraska was ahead of both in the Coaches poll) A move up in the Coaches poll is not likely this week but possible. 

A big two game stretch faces Nebraska at home this week.  On Wednesday it is against #17 Oklahoma State.  OSU is the #2 team in the Big 12 and Nebraska could really themselves some good by putting some distance between them and 2nd place in the conference.  Another huge road block comes to Lincoln when Texas A&M comes calling.  And that road blocks name is Danielle Adams.  The 6-1, “Barkley-esque” player has already logged a triple double this year and will be a big challenge for the Huskers down low.  Nebraska has shown they can win when the inside game and Kelsey Griffin are hampered (Baylor win) , but this will be another test for Connie Yori’s Huskers.

Packing the house and some punch

January 24, 2010 at 5:52pm By: D.M.B. Posted in D.M.B. Sports Report

Its been about a week and a half but the Nebraska women’s basketball team has picked up two wins in that time frame. The most recent was in front of a near sell out crowd of 13,303 (official BDSC sellout attendance is just over 13,500) the women muscled their way past Kansas State 71-56.  Of course dollar tickets didn’t hurt the attendance but the last home game drew over 7000, so its obvious that Husker Nation is taking notice.  Before the Kansas State game the women picked up their third top 10 win of the year with a 65-56 road win over #9 Baylor.  That win vaulted the women into the top 10 in both the AP and the coaches poll.  And lets see you chew on this one, in his latest Bracketology update, Charlie Creme has placed Nebraska as a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament.  Out of everything, that probably is the toughest to get your head around.  Another little nugget since we last talked Wisconsin-Bay, Georgia and Notre Dame lost games so there are two undefeated teams in the nation, Nebraska and UConn.

This team, right now…is a legit Elite Eight contender and has a very good shot at going to the Final Four.  But there is still a long way to go in the Big 12 season just yet.  Just a quarter of the way through, Nebraska still has tough games @ Oklahoma (Feb. 24th), vs. Texas A&M (Feb 6th) and vs. Oklahoma State (Feb 3rd).  The Oklahoma game presents the last major road block on the road.  The OSU game is the next one at home and I encourage everybody to go out and check this team out.

Mama…there goes that girl again.

January 13, 2010 at 5:11pm By: D.M.B. Posted in D.M.B. Sports Report

The amazing Kelsey Griffin had another outstanding game last night as she paced the Cornhuskers with 26 points and 10 rebounds to lead the #9 and #11 ranked (yep, you’re reading that right) Nebraska Cornhuskers to a 91-79 victory over Texas.  Texas, no slouch at #19 and #22 were neck and neck with the Cornhuskers throughout the first half but Nebraska went on a 13-2 run to start the 2nd half and never looked back. 

Griffin earned some high praise from Vermont head coach Sharon Dawley about Griffin.  “She’s one of the best players I’ve ever seen,” “Maya Moore‘s probably the only person better we’ve seen live.”  (I encourage all of you who don’t know Maya Moore is to click that link to see her accomplishments and what kind of company Coach Dawley is putting Griffin is)

Apparently, Husker Nation is taking notice to.  Just over seven thousand people set foot in the Bob Devaney Sports Center to watch Nebraska.  That’s an amazing turnout for the girls and if they keep winning, you can only expect that number to rise on a weekly basis.

Nebraska’s next game proves to be again another challenge, maybe the biggest one of the season.  The Huskers go on the road to #9 Baylor on Sunday.  It will be a tall task for the Husker women but if they come out of this one as victors…there’s no telling where this team is going to stop.

Folks, I really encourage you to head over to the Devaney and support the women.  Seven thousand is an awesome number but this team is playing out of this world basketball right now and we have a once in a lifetime player on our hands in Griffin.  Nebraska’s next home game will be January 23rd against Kansas State, and you can find the rest of Nebraska’s schedule here.  There are going to be a couple TV appearances down the stretch if you can’t make it to the Bob.  I also encourage you to listen to Matt Coatney on the Husker Sports Network.  Matt is a good friend and the best announcer in the Husker Sports Network stable, IMO.  In Lincoln you can hear the games on Froggy 98 and 93.3 in Omaha.

Edit: I should also throw in a plug for the mens basketball team tonight as they take on #3 Kansas at home tonight.  Its an 8pm tip time and the game will be televised on ESPN2.  It will be a packed house at the BDSC tonight as is every Kansas game, but there are still some tickets left.  This will be a tough one for the men who will have to play the perfect game to beat Kansas.  If they can keep it within the 14 point margin of victory the women beat Texas with…that should be a victory in itself.

And you thought the football team had a good year…

January 9, 2010 at 9:05pm By: D.M.B. Posted in D.M.B. Sports Report

Folks hold onto your butts cause we are starting to see a potential historic season in Nebraska.  The Nebraska women’s basketball team is off to a Nebraska women’s basketball best, 13-0 start.  The first undefeated non-conference season in school history has been highlighted by one game decided by less than 10 points.  It has also featured probably the biggest win in school history with a 14 point win over the #5 team in the nation at the time, the LSU Tigers.

The women are led by Kelsey Griffin.  Griffin has so far put together a 1st team All-American season and is in the discussion for national player of the year.  She is the real deal.  The senior from Alaska battled an injury last year and did not play.  She has had injury concerns throughout her Husker career but has been one of the best players for Connie Yori.  Griffin is averaging almost 20 points/game and 10 rebounds/game.

To show you how big a season this has been so far, Nebraska started the year unranked and didn’t see the rankings until they played Creighton on Dec. 9th and that was #24.  After their LSU win they vaulted up to 13.  And then they climbed another spot in the polls to #12 and promptly crushed Vermont 94-50 (Vermont was a fringe Top 25 team before the Nebraska game as well).  The buzz word around college basketball is Bracketology and the study of if the tournament started now, where would they be in the tournament.  Again before the LSU game on December 10th ESPN.com had a 10-0 Nebraska as the #4 seed.  Now with conference play starting up, Nebraska is the #3 seed right now.

But it will not be easy for Nebraska in the Big 12.  There are two teams ranked ahead of Nebraska as Baylor is #5 and Texas A&M is #10, Oklahoma and Texas is right behind Nebraska at #14 and #15.  Kansas and Oklahoma St. are ranked as well in the top 25.  This will not be easy for Nebraska.  They start conference play tonight versus Iowa State and have a big game next Tuesday at home versus Texas.

Happy Husker Holiday

January 2, 2010 at 7:50am By: D.M.B. Posted in D.M.B. Sports Report

What team was that?  I should say, what offensive team was that?  Nebraska ran all over Arizona with an easy 33-0 win in the Holiday Bowl.  Did Mike Leech get a one game contract and wear a Shawn Watson mask as our Offensive Coordinator?  Whatever it was, I liked it.

It was a good season for Nebraska, we had a couple opportunities to be much better than our record indicates.  But if you asked a Husker fan before this season would they take B12 North champs and 10 wins, I’d think you’d get a resounding yes from most everybody.  Yes Nebraska was damn close to being in a BCS game (:01) a last second loss to Virginia Tech and a poorly played Iowa State game away from actually being in the national title discussion.  And here’s a shocker, expectations will be very high next year.  I know…who would have thunk it at Nebraska.

The schedule sets up PERFECTLY for Nebraska next year.  The non-conference is as weak as ever.  Western Kentucky, Idaho and South Dakota St. all at home with a trip to Washington. Washington is a tricky team to figure out.  They were 5-7 this year but had quality wins over USC and California and several close losses (by 8 vs. LSU, by 7 to Notre Dame in OT, by 7 to Arizona State and by 1 to Oregon State)  And they have an above average QB (Jake Locker) who was going to be a high draft pick in this years NFL draft had he decided to leave early.  The conference schedule sets up nicely for Nebraska too.  As far as the North is concerned both key games are at home (Mizzou and Kansas).  Mizzou will be improved this year with Gabbert and Kansas could be good with Turner now at the helm, but Nebraska is the clear cut favorite next year.  As for the South opponents, Texas comes to town and very little motivation will be needed to win that game.  Plus, how far do the Longhorns fall off without McCoy at the helm?  Texas is ripe for the picking.  Road games against OSU and aTm aren’t easy but should be winnable.  OU isn’t on the schedule but could be a B12CG opponent and they’re losing a lot and Landry Jones isn’t half the QB that Sam Bradford is.

At first glance there are a lot of W’s on this schedule for Nebraska next year.  I don’t think a 10-2/11-1 regular season is out of the question next year. A birth in the B12CG is almost a necessity and it could be a very winnable game.  A BCS bowl birth (automatic or at-large) is a distinct possibility as well. 

As I said, expectations are high but if everything goes right, Bo Pelini in year 3 could back up his postgame Holiday Bowl comment of “Nebraska is back and here to stay” with a year that could put Nebraska back in the national title discussion.

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