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Nebraska Cornhuskers B1G Tournament Outlook

No program has been more disappointing this season than the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Can they cause some havoc for other teams in the B1G Tournament?

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Nebraska has had arguably the most disappointing season in the conference. The Cornhuskers were ranked #17 in the preseason poll and they finished the year ranked #12 in the B1G Conference - ahead of only Penn State and Rutgers. They are currently on an 8 game losing streak and have also lost 10 of the last 11 games. After the revival of the Cornhuskers' program last year - this season really came as a shock to many. They even lost to Incarnate Word - at home (where they lost 1 game all of last year).  Yes, that is a Division 1 program believe it or not. So what is the outlook for Nebraska as they enter the B1G Tournament? Not good.

The road to the championship (assuming no upsets outside of Nebraska themselves) will be #13 Penn State, #5 Iowa, #4 Purdue, #1 Wisconsin, and #2 Maryland. I think it is safe to say we aren't going to see Nebraska anywhere near the championship game this week, but they certainly have the talent and ability on their roster to cause some havoc if everything comes together for a couple games. Let's take a look at how Nebraska faired against its first two potential opponents:

#13 Penn State

0-1

L 56-43 (A)

#5 Iowa

0-2

L 70-59 (A) & L 74-46 (H)

There was one common denominator in these three games (and really the entire season for that matter) - incredibly poor shooting. The Cornhuskers shot 29% overall and 10% from deep against a Penn State team that isn't exactly a defensive juggernaut. Nebraska did do a good job of holding D.J. Newbill in check though with only 11 points and not many teams can say that this season. In two games against Iowa, the Cornhuskers shot 4 of 32 from the three point line. You almost have to try to be that bad from distance in today's three point happy college game. Nebraska plays decent defense and if they could find a way to get hot for a couple of games on the offensive end - they could really cause some problems for both Penn State and Iowa.

The main goal for Nebraska in this tournament is to build for next season. The three key players in Terran Petteway, Shavon Shields, and Walter Pitchford should all return next year and they have shown they are capable as all three were key cogs in last season's surprise run. Tim Miles will undoubtedly have his team keyed in to building some early momentum for next season as there is really little else to play for this year as even the CBI seems out of reach. If they can make some shots and again find a way to shut down Newbill of Penn State - they have a chance to build some of that much needed momentum.

While many Cornhusker fans likely have a lot more focus on the impending Spring Football game, they should give this basketball team a look in Chicago this week as Nebraska will have a chance next season with some improved shooting to make a run in the B1G Conference. They will try to take some steps in that direction this week and while fans may not be able to take a lot away from what happens this week - there is that chance that you might start to see something special forming on this basketball team.