Yesterday marked the last game of the preseason with Nebraska hosting Northwood in an exhibition game just prior to opening day. Excluding charity exhibition games and secret scrimmages, the Big Ten finished the exhibition season undefeated after Nebraska’s victory last night.
Nebraska 80 Northwood 62
Nebraska started off quickly in their final exhibition game, opening up a 10-2 lead within the first three minutes, before slowing down throughout most of the first half. Northwood University actually led for a decent bit of the first half before Nebraska took a 35-33 lead into the break.
Things went a bit differently in the second half, with the Huskers opening up a double digit lead and coasting down the stretch to an 18 point victory.
Miami transfer James Palmer Jr. had a big night, leading the team with 27 points. Nebraska also got solid outings from freshman Thomas Allen (18 points) and Georgetown transfer Isaac Copeland (12 points). Overall Nebraska shot 48.3% from the field and forced 19 turnovers.
While Nebraska did start off slow, they managed to put the game away in the end. It is somewhat notable that they were out rebounded 50-40 by Northwood, giving up 24 offensive rebounds. They did hold the Timberwolves to 30.1% shooting from the field, limiting their struggles on the glass.
Ohio State...Final Four?
Yesterday ESPN posted their Final Four and National Champion predictions and there was a pretty general consensus across the board, with almost everyone predicting either Michigan State, Duke or Arizona to be win it all. There were a few outliers, like Tom Crean going with Xavier and Robbie Hummel picking Kansas, but the predictions were relatively consistent.
One thing that stood out though was one of the Final Four predictions by Dan Dakich, who listed Ohio State in his Final Four. Of course one could accuse the commentator and former coach of a strong case of homerism (his son transferred to Ohio State this offseason), but it’s still an out there prediction. While Dakich has Ohio State overachieving this spring, almost all other media outlets and analysts have Ohio State finishing towards the bottom of the conference this season.
Dakich took to Twitter shortly after to double down on his call for Ohio State’s unlikely run to the Final Four:
I remember Media whining about my Michigan pick of last year!! Won B10 got close..u have a Dakich u have as good a shot as any!! https://t.co/CoSDBsWZJZ— Dan Dakich (@dandakich) November 7, 2017
I’ve always enjoyed (and will defend) Dakich’s in-game commentary, but saying Ohio State will make the Final Four is honestly indefensible.