INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — It’s a rarity when a first-round game in the Big Ten Tournament features the hottest team in the league, but that’s certainly the case with the Nebraska Cornhuskers.
The Wednesday night of the tournament is reserved for the bottom four teams in the league standings, and that never changes. But Nebraska, after losing 16 of its first 17 league games, ended the year with three straight wins, including stunners over ranked teams Ohio State and Wisconsin.
The win on Sunday in Madison cost the Badgers and outright Big Ten title.
Nebraska is the No. 13 in the event, and it takes on Northwestern in the tourney opener at 6 pm ET at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. This is the first postseason meeting between the two teams.
The Wildcats crushed Nebraska twice this season, and the last time Northwestern went 3-0 against an opponent in the same season was 2016-17 against Rutgers. The Wildcats are trying to snap a five-game losing skid in the Big Ten Tournament.
The winner of Northwestern and Nebraska will face No. 5 seed Iowa in the second round on Thursday.
Here’s how to watch the game, with gametime, TV, point spreads and starting lineups
How to watch Nebraska vs. north western
- Quien: No. 13 seed Nebraska Cornhuskers (10-21, 4-16 in the Big Ten) vs. No. 12 seed Northwestern Wildcats (14-15, 7-13 in the Big Ten)
- What: Big Ten Tournament first-round game
- when: 6 p.m. ET, Wednesday, March 9
- Where: Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Ind.
- TV: Big Ten Network
- Stream: fubo.tv CLICK HERE
- Announcers: Brandon Gaudin (play-by-play), Robbie Hummel (color commentary), Andy Katz (sideline)
- Radio: Sirius XM 84
- Latest Line: Northwestern opened as a 4.5-point favorite over Nebraska, according to the SISportsbook.com website line as of Wednesday morning. The over/under is 135.5.
- Poll rankings: Neither team is ranked.
- Kenpom.com rankings: Northwestern is No. 78 in the Kenpom.com rankings, Nebraska is ranked No. 132.
- Nebraska vs. Northwestern series history: Northwestern leads the all-time series against Nebraska, 11-9, and have won the last five games and nine of the last 11 meetings. They have never met in the postseason before.
- Nebraska vs. Northwestern last meeting: The Wildcats swept the regular season series from the Cornhuskers, winning 87-63 on Feb. 5 in Lincoln and then won again on Feb. 22 in Evanston by a 77-65 score.
Nebraska-Northwestern most recent games
- Nebraska’s last game: Nebraska has won three games in a row after starting the Big Ten season with a 1-16 mark. Two of the wins came against t ranked opponents on the road (Ohio State and Wisconsin) to close out its regular season. The 74-73 finale at Wisconsin was a stunner, because it cost the Badgers an outright Big Ten title.
- Northwestern’s last game: The Wildcats closed out the regular season defeating Minnesota 75-62 Sunday night. Pete Nance had 19 points, 13 boards and three blocks. He became the 38th player in program history to score 1,000 career points on a layup with two minutes to play in the game.
- PROJECTED NEBRASKA STARTERS:
- Alonso Verge Jr. 6-foot-6 senior guard: 14.2 points, 5.3 assists, 4.4 rebounds
- Bryce McGowens, 6-7 freshman guard: 17.2 points, 5.3 rebounds
- trey mcgowens6-foot-4 junior guard: 6.8 points, 4.0 rebounds
- Lat Mayen6-9 junior forward: 5.8 points, 3.7 rebounds
- Derrick Walker6-9 junior forward: 9.3 points, 6.0 rebounds
- PROJECTED NORTHWESTERN STARTERS:
- Boo Buie, 6-foot-2 junior guard: 14.1 points, 4.4 assists
- Chase Audige, 6-4 junior guard: 10.3 points, 4.4 rebounds
- pete nance6-10 senior forwards: 14.7 points, 6.6 rebounds
- robbie baran6-9 junior forward: 6.3 points, 4.4 rebounds
- julian roper6-3 freshman guard: 3.7 points, 3.4 rebounds
Related stories on Big Ten Tournament
- TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE: Illinois is the top-seed in the 2022 Big Ten Tournament this year, and the Illini are also the defending champions. There have been only three repeat champions in the 23-year history of the event. Here is the complete schedule, with gametimes and TV information, records and point spread where available. CLICK HERE
- PURDUE FAVORED: Illinois and Wisconsin might be the top two seeds in this week’s Big Ten Tournament, but it’s the No. 3 seed — the Purdue Boilermakers — who are the odds-on-favorite to win the event, according to the SISportsbook.com gambling website. CLICK HERE
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism