Nebraska and Iowa have plenty on the line Sunday when the Big Ten teams meet at Iowa City, Iowa, in the regular season finale for both teams.
For Nebraska (15-15, 8-11), a win would give the Cornhuskers a third Quad 1 road victory and their first sweep of the Hawkeyes since joining the Big Ten in 2011-12.
For Iowa (19-11, 11-8), a victory would assure the Hawkeyes of a double bye in next week’s Big Ten tournament and a potential second-place finish in the conference race.
The Hawkeyes can also strengthen their NCAA seeding. They already have 12 wins combined in Quad 1 (four wins) and Quad 2 (eight) on their resume, second most in the Big Ten behind Purdue (15).
Iowa coach Fran McCaffery is also going for the school record for regular season coaching victories in the Big Ten. Thursday’s win at No. 15 Indiana was McCaffery’s 126th, tying Tom Davis for the most in program history.
“All we’re thinking about right now is Nebraska on Sunday,” McCaffery said. “We’ll deal with the Big Ten tournament Sunday evening, I guess.
“We just have respect for everybody in this league, whether we’re home or away. Who shows up, if anybody is hurt, it doesn’t matter.”
Connor McCaffery, the coach’s son playing his last game at home Sunday on Senior Day, ranks first in the country in assist-to-turnover ratio (4.0). He also led the nation in 2020 with a 4.6 ratio. He has amassed 514 career assists, seventh most in program history.
Of Nebraska’s 15 losses this season, 13 are against teams in the top 60 of the NET as of March 1.
“Next year, hopefully we’re playing for seedings (in the NCAA Tournament),” Nebraska coach Fred Hoiberg said. “Right now we’re playing for our lives. That’s going to be an important part of the process — the steps that these guys are taking, our younger players, in having big impacts on some of the games we won.”
Derrick Walker leads the Cornhuskers with 13.8 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. He was one of five Nebraska starters who scored in double figures in a 66-50 home defeat of Iowa on Dec. 29.
–Field Level Media