Preview: Nebraska at Indiana - BATTLE OF THE BUBBLES

Look for another showdown tonight. - Eric Francis

Tonight's game between Nebraska and Indiana is huge for both team's NCAA Tournament hopes and hopes to get a 1st round Big Ten Tournament bye.

By the Numbers:

Nebraska

Team

Indiana

17-11(9-7)

Record

17-12(7-9)

N/A

Ranking

N/A

48

RPI

76
64

BPI

62
57

KenPom

58
64

Sagarin

53

March 5, 2014 - Assembly Hall, Bloomington, Indiana

7:00 PM EST - BTN

Skinny:

This is a game that many probably overlooked on their schedule, but it is actually one of the most important for the conference this week.  Both teams are fighting to get into the big dance and a win or a loss here would have massive implications for their at-large hopes.  Nebraska has won 6 of their last 7 games and the Hoosiers have won their last 2 games, which were both over ranked teams.  Both these teams are playing well and a loss would have devastating effects on their NCAA Tournament hopes.

Projected Starting Lineups:

Nebraska

Pos.

Indiana

Tai Webster

G

Yogi Ferrell

Terran Petteway

G

Will Sheehey

Shavon Shields

F

Austin Etherington

David Rivers

F

Troy Williams

Walter Pitchford

C

Noah Vonleh

*** - Noah Vonleh sat out last game due to injury.

Players to Watch:

Terran Petteway: Petteway is in the Big Ten Player of the Year race largely due to his massive scoring output.  He averages 17.9 points per game and 18 in his first outing against Indiana.

Shavon Shields: Shields is an inconsistent scorer, but he has the ability to light up the scoreboard when he shoots well considering that he only averages 8.6 field goal attempts per game.  He scored 11 against IU last time.

Will Sheehey: Sheehey may have been disappointing to start the year, but he has put together a few great games recently including 30 points against Iowa and 10 points against OSU.

Noah Vonleh: There is a huge question mark for Vonleh as he sat out the last game against OSU.  Will he be able to play against Nebraska?  If so, he will be the best rebounder on the floor.  He has put together a great campaign for Big Ten Freshman of the Year.

Nebraska Perspective:

The Cornhuskers need a win here.  They are narrowly outside the NCAA Tournament in most projections and if they can pick up this road win, they might just put themselves on the right side.  Most believe they still need 2 more wins to realistically have a shot of getting in, so scoring one here would be huge.

Indiana Perspective:

The Hoosiers have been written over several times this year, but with just a few games left, they have a fighting chance to make it into the big dance.  It's still a stretch, but if they can beat Nebraska and then beat Michigan, they could get a 1st round Big Ten Tournament bye and put themselves in position to make a run.

Prediction:

There are many similarities between these teams.  Both are fighting for a spot on the bubble, play great defense, and most importantly, play very well at home.  Nebraska has yet to put together a great road win and Indiana has shown they can beat anybody in Assembly Hall.  With that, the Hoosiers deserve the edge here. Indiana: 66, Nebraska: 60

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