The Nebraska men’s basketball team has been putting up some remarkable numbers for a team not picked to do much in the Big Ten this season. With each growing victory, the crowds at Pinnacle Bank Arena are growing louder and louder.
Sunday evening, what a send off for the Huskers who knocked off ninth ranked Wisconsin. It ended with happy fans storming the court (video below).
Nebraska picked up its second win over an AP Top-10 team this season, the fifth time in school history that has happened and the first time since 1993-94. With the win, the Huskers clinched sole possession of fourth place in the Big Ten standings, its best conference finish since 1997-98. Nebraska closed the regular season with eight wins in the last nine games and went 10-2 after a 1-5 start to Big Ten play.
Nebraska finishes with an 11-7 Big Ten record, matching the third-most conference wins by a Husker team in school history. It is the most since the 1965-66 team won 12 games in the Big Eight and the team finished 15-1 at Pinnacle Bank Arena. That’s a home court advantage that sophomore Shavon Shields and the Huskers are attributing to their great fan support.
“Huge. Huge! I mean, it just really brings energy and I feel like it takes players out of what they want to do if they are opposing. The free throws – Wisconsin is a really good free throw shooting team – and I think the crowd effected them on a couple of those,” said Shields. “So, just little things like that really feed of us and catapult us. Definitely just feed of the energy they bring us. We want to perform for them. They’ve been behind us through thick and thin. So, we just feed off them.”
Another sophomore, Terran Petteway, who tied Shields with 26 points to lead NU says coming from the state of Texas and starting his college career at Texas Tech…last night’s game was by far the craziest atmosphere he’s been around.
“Most definitely. Coming from where I came from. This tops it all.”
Even the mastermind behind this transformation, head coach Tim Miles is a little surprised by the home town fans who are enjoying the new basketball home and newfound success.
“First of all, I just wanted to say that I thought that was one of the more exciting environments that a guy can experience, or a team can experience, or a fan can experience in college basketball. If you would’ve told me that was the way it was going to be last year when we played Southern in the Devaney Center, I wouldn’t have believed you. But that’s what we want Husker basketball to be about, and that’s what we want it to continue to be about. We’ve had a good run, a really good run, but we’re only halfway through the journey. With that, I’ll take any questions.”