To say that things have been going smoothly for Nebraska Athletics would not be true. Nebraska fired a football coach who didn’t win and the exit was not pretty. Then there is the Nebraska basketball program which also hired a guy in Fred Hoiberg who was the logical choice given his previous success at Iowa State and his ability to develop players and his clout on the recruiting trail given his former job as head coach of the Bulls. In year 4 coach Hoiberg entered December with a 29-70 overall record. Things have not been going well.
This version of the Huskers seems different; they are older, the roster is full of transfers from winning programs, and the depth is much better. It seems like coach Hoiberg is finally building something, and even though the record may be poor there is still a lot to like about this team. Mainly their ability to make the right play and stay together. The Huskers had been rolling, beating two straight power six opponents by double digits. However, they were against two of the worst power six schools this year but nonetheless, it is still progress.
December was going to test the mettle of the Huskers and it all started with the annual showdown against the Creighton Bluejays. Heading into the game there was no way that Nebraska was going to win the game. The Bluejays had better athletes, were a top 10 team and one of my preseason final four picks. They are loaded with lottery picks up and down the roster and one of the best home-court advantages in the sport.
None of that mattered as the Huskers went to Omaha and did something that no Nebraska team had done since 1995. They won a regular season game on Creighton’s home floor. This was no ordinary win. It was monumental for the program as a Nebraska team with still a ton of question marks as to how good they are, just beat arguably the best Creighton team in history on their home floor. It was a huge win for the program and for coach Hoiberg who entered the year trying to prove that he should still have a job at the end of the season.
It took me a while to process my thoughts. Given that I put my blood, sweat, and hard-earned money into supporting the Nebraska Basketball program this win felt very good. It made food taste better, it made my Christmas lights burn brighter, and gave me an extra jolt of energy on a Sunday night. After coming down from the emotional high that I got as a fan, and getting back to breaking down the game, I have come up with three key takeaways from this game and things to look forward to heading into conference play.