The Nebraska men’s basketball team looks for its 20th win of the season, as the Huskers travel to Boulder tonight for a crucial matchup with the Colorado Buffaloes.
While tonight’s tilt is the final regular season Big 12 game for both Nebraska and Colorado, it has postseason implications for the Huskers and Buffaloes. Both teams are tied with Baylor for sixth place with a 7-8 Big 12 mark entering the final weekend of the season.
For Nebraska, a win over the Buffaloes would not only give the Huskers their 20th victory of the season and a .500 conference mark, but would guarantee an upper division finish in the Big 12.
In addition, wins by both Nebraska and Kansas would mean that NU would tie for fifth – the program’s best regular-season league finish since 1998-99.
The Huskers are coming off a strong performance on Tuesday night, downing No. 22 Missouri 69-58 at the Devaney Center. Nebraska shot 53 percent and had four players in double figures, led by Lance Jeter’s 16 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.
NU shot 67 percent in the second half and out-rebounded the Tigers, 35-24.
Jeter has played at a high level down the stretch, averaging 21.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 6.0 assists in Nebraska’s last two games.
He is currently averaging 12.9 points, 5.1 assists and 4.9 rebounds per game in Big 12 play and could become only the third player in Big 12 history – joining Jamaal Tinsley and Kirk Hinrich to average more than five rebounds and five assists per game in league play.
With the league’s tiebreakers, Nebraska would be seeded between sixth and eighth for next week’s Phillips 66 Big 12 Basketball Championship. A win would put NU sixth or seventh, while Nebraska will be the eighth seed with a loss to the Buffaloes.
Colorado is in a similar situation to Nebraska, as the Buffaloes can be seeded anywhere between fifth and eighth depending on Saturday’s outcomes around the Big 12. Colorado looks to rebound after a 95-90 loss at Iowa State on Wednesday.
Alec Burks had 24 points and nine rebounds to pace four Buffaloes in double figures. Burks leads the Big 12 in scoring at 19.8 points per game and is averaging 20.5 points and a league-high 8.0 rebounds per game in conference play.
In the first game between these two teams, Toney McCray tied his career high with 18 points, and Nebraska played one of its best second halves of the season, stopping Colorado’s seven-game win streak in a 79-67 win on Jan. 18.
McCray scored five of his points in a 13-2 run, as the Huskers broke open a tight battle into an 11-point lead. The junior hit 8-of-14 shots from the floor and grabbed eight rebounds in helping to hand Colorado its first Big 12 loss.
The Huskers and the Buffaloes will tip off tonight at 8:05.