The state of Nebraska has its eyes on San Antonio as both the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Creighton Bluejays play their second round NCAA Tournament games, Friday. Here’s a look at our teams and their opponents.
Nebraska was one of the surprise stories, finishing fourth in the Big Ten after being picked to finish last. In doing so, they reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1998. The Cornhuskers have never won a tournament game in six tries all-time. The Huskers were just 4-7 against the RPI Top 50 this season, but have wins over Wisconsin on March 9th and an impressive win at Michigan State.
Tim Miles from San Antonio…courtesy of Huskers.com
Baylor is back in the NCAA Tournament after going 10-2 over its final 12 games, including a run to the Big 12 tournament final, where it fell to Iowa State in the finals. Senior guard Brady Heslip (11.8 ppg) and senior forward Cory Jefferson (13.5 ppg, 8.4 rpg) lead the team, along with solid play from point guard Kenny Chery (11.6 ppg, 5.0 apg). Baylor has reached the Elite Eight in its last two tournament appearances, in 2010 and 2012.
The Bluejays are trying to get to the Sweet 16 (and perhaps beyond) for the first time since 1974. McDermott (26.9 ppg) enters the tournament with 3,105 career points, needing 61 points to pass Alphonso Ford for No. 4 on the all-time NCAA scoring list. Creighton has eight wins against the RPI Top 50 this season, including a pair of 20-plus-point blowouts of Big East regular season champion Villanova.
Watch Creighton practice from San Antonio, courtesy of GoCreighton.com
LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE RAGIN CAJUNS
UL Lafayette stunned a red-hot Georgia State team for the Sun Belt tournament title, punching its first NCAA ticket since 2005. Head coach Bob Marlin makes his third NCAA appearance, after guiding Sam Houston State to the Dance in 2003 and 2010. Louisiana fell to RPI Top 50 opponents Louisville (113-74) and Baylor (87-68) this season. The Ragin’ Cajuns have been one-and-done in each of their last four trips to the event. Guard Elfrid Payton (19.1 ppg, 5.9 rpg) and forward Shawn Long (18.7 ppg, 10.5 rpg) are big concerns for Greg McDermott.