By Larry Pritchett
Past PCHS Activities Director
It was a short ride on the NCAA express for the Cornhusker men’s basketball team. A week can make a gigantic difference.
After defeating Texas 10 days ago, the Huskers looked as if they were going to play themselves into a tournament that they haven’t had a ticket to since the last of the 1990s. But when you are a “bubble” team, you can’t let up for even a moment, let alone lose a game that you have to win to stay in contention.
The Huskers couldn’t handle it this year. They lost to Kansas State, who is playing really well right now, and then the killer loss came last Saturday as they made the trip to Iowa State and gave up 80 points to a 1-14 team in the Big 12 and lost in overtime.
After that they have Missouri and Colorado and even if they win both games, it is a good bet that they might have to win a couple of games in the Big 12 tournament to impress the NCAA selection committee.
The Huskers have Missouri in Lincoln but they have to travel to Boulder and both contests are going to be difficult.
Nebraska hasn’t played well in Boulder since Dr. Naismith invented the game, plus the Buffs just put together a great game against Texas last Saturday overcoming a 15 point half time deficit to beat the Longhorns 91-89.
Texas may well be the only team that will be happy that Colorado and Nebraska are leaving the Big 12. At this time those are the only two losses that Texas has suffered in the Big 12.
If you haven’t seen BYU play this season and they are not on TV a lot, you may have missed seeing the NCAA player of the year in action. Jimmer Fredette is a very good scorer, but does a lot of things in addition to scoring to help his team win. Shooting, however, is what most people talk about when they discuss Fredette.
One of the TV guys said that he thought Fredette had a deeper and quicker three-point shot than any player in the NBA. That is a pretty strong statement, but if you have seen him shoot the ball and look at where it gets shot up from, saying it is deep is an understatement.
He is more, however, than just a “catch and shoot” player. He can drive, stop on the proverbial dime, and drill the 15-footer as well as he does the deep three.
The Plainsmen teams had their seasons end in Sub-District play and the SPVA at this writing still had some teams in the running for the state tournament.
The St. Pats girls lost in the district finals, but the Sutherland girls made it to Lincoln and will represent the SPVA.
On the boys side, NPSP and Hershey were still in the running as they will have played on Monday night of this week; NPSP will have played Bayard and Hershey will have played Kimball. NPSP and Bayard didn’t play during the regular season, but Kimball defeated Hershey during the season.
The most fun time of basketball season is just starting. You have the state tournaments for the high school teams and the NCAA tournaments will be starting in a short time.
The state tournament is a great time to go watch a lot of good teams playing and also an opportunity to see some of the other classes of play that you don’t see much of during the regular season.
The NCAA tournament to me is the biggest college event of the year and the first round of the tournament is a good time to just see how much basketball you watch in one given day.
Being somewhat retired and working with a very benevolent boss, you have that chance to see a multitude of games.
For an old coach, it doesn’t get too much better than that.