LINCOLN — As a college kid, Tim Miles broke into Assembly Hall to check out the hallowed home court of Indiana Hoosiers basketball.
“I trespassed,” he admitted Tuesday. “But the statute of limitations has run out.”
That's good, because when the Nebraska men's basketball coach returns to Bloomington, Ind., on Wednesday night, he'll have plenty to worry about other than getting arrested for a long-ago prank.
After 527 career games, Miles will coach for the first time against an opponent ranked No. 1.
Indiana (21-3, 9-2 Big Ten) remained No. 1 this week, even after losing to the 10th-place team in the Big Ten (Illinois). The Hoosiers did that by bouncing back to hammer No. 10 Ohio State 81-68 in Columbus, Ohio — the same place NU lost by 26 points earlier this season.
Need more to sweat about?
Two Indiana starters — sophomore center Cody Zeller and junior guard Victor Oladipo — are among the six mentioned most often in national player of the year projections.
Also, the Huskers (12-12, 3-8) haven't beaten a No. 1 team since Missouri in 1981. Nebraska has lost 25 games in a row away from home against top-10 teams.
Can you say intimidation?
“If we go in intimidated, they're just going to kick our butt,” Husker senior center Andre Almeida said. “We all have to attack as a team and be really focused or there won't be a good chance to win.”
Nebraska upset then-No. 11 Indiana last year in Lincoln 70-69.
But NU's three key players in that game (Bo Spencer, Toney McCray, Jorge Brian Diaz) are gone. Miles said he only watched that game film once, and that was when he was hired last spring.
“Indiana is a phenomenal team,” he said. “This is a much-improved team. It has more talent. They are playing better and defend much better.”
The three teams that have beaten Indiana (Butler, Wisconsin, Illinois) have one thing in common. They slowed the tempo and limited possessions.
“We have to muck it up,” Miles said. “That's our only chance. We're going to get pressed. But I told our guys that if we don't score immediately off the press, we're going to grind for a while.
“You can second-guess that all you want. But the teams that have hung around against them have played slower.”
Contact the writer: