CHICAGO — The Nebraska men’s basketball team planned to eat as slowly as possible after Thursday night’s 57-55 Big Ten tourney upset of Purdue.
That’s because coach Tim Miles told the Huskers they had through dinner to enjoy that win before thinking about Friday’s 5:30 p.m. game against No. 10 Ohio State (23-7).
The Buckeyes hammered NU 70-44 on Jan. 2 in Columbus, Ohio. But in a Feb. 2 rematch in Lincoln, the Huskers were within five points with 2:40 left before falling 63-56.
Miles pounded that fact home in his postgame remarks.
“That was a game down the stretch,” he said. “We were right there. A few other things go our way, we could have come out on top. That’s what you have to cling to.”
NU guard Ray Gallegos has bought in.
“We’re all excited,” he said. “If you remember at our place, it was close to the end. We feel we can match up with them pretty well.”
Ohio State has the Big Ten’s leading scorer in junior forward Deshaun Thomas (19.7 points), the No. 2 assist and steals leader in junior guard Aaron Craft and an average victory margin of 11.5 points.
Nebraska is ranked 280th nationally or worse in eight major statistical categories. But count on the Huskers to show up.
“I think they will be locked in,” Miles said. “Their hearts are fresher than their legs, but I think that’s going to be all right.
“We’ll just play a low possession game and see what happens.”
Contact the writer: