LINCOLN — One cold hard fact overrides anything else the Nebraska men's basketball team might think about ahead of Wednesday's game at No. 10 Michigan.
NU (11-9, 3-5) is the only Big Ten team without a true road victory.
Much progress has been made in coach Tim Miles' second season.
The Huskers are 10-1 at home, with the only loss by one point to league-leading Michigan (16-5, 8-1). They broke a 15-game losing string against ranked opponents by toppling No. 17 Ohio State. And they have won back-to-back Big Ten games for the first time since joining the league three years ago.
But the lack of conference road success has limited Nebraska basketball for years: 0-4 this season and 1-8, 1-8, 1-7 and 0-8 in the four seasons before that.
“We've been pretty good at home,” Miles said. “We need to do better on the road. We make way too many errors on the road.”
That includes the head coach.
In a 58-54 loss at Penn State, Nebraska played at a plodding pace and looked confused offensively. Two critical Husker turnovers in the final minute allowed the Nittany Lions to hold on.
“The greatest compliment a coach can have,” Miles said, “is that his team looks like they don't need a coach.
“When I watched our Penn State game, we were looking at the bench for everything. And it was an embarrassment to me. I felt like I let our guys down. Therefore, we said, 'Simplify and get on the attack.' ”
That plan worked for back-to-back home wins over Minnesota and Indiana. Now, the Huskers must figure out how to translate it into a road win.
“The league is upside down,” Miles said, referencing the fact that only three Big Ten schools have a winning record in conference play. “We want to put ourselves in position to win.
“It's an important week for us on the road. But we can't make too big a deal out of it with the players. We've just got to figure out how to win. Develop mental toughness and have better decision-making.”
Trying for revenge because Michigan won 71-70 on Jan. 9 in Lincoln isn't part of the plan, Husker forward Shavon Shields said.
“We just need to get a win, no matter who it is or what happened the first time,” Shields said. “We need to get to .500 or above in the league. To do that, we're going to have to win on the road, so why not start now?”
Michigan is coming off a loss for the first time since Dec. 14. Indiana ended the Wolverines' 10-game winning streak Sunday 63-52.
“We've got to bounce back,” UM coach John Beilein said. “We haven't lost in a little bit, so bouncing back is more difficult than people think sometimes when the losses hurt so much because you're not used to them.”