Pitchin' with Pritch: A game for Husker history
What a way to end the Nebraska boys basketball season, with a really good state tournament and the end of the Big Ten regular season for the Cornhusker men with a really unbelievable comeback win over Iowa at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
First of all, let me let you know right up front that I am a season ticket holder and I was in Lincoln on Sunday after being there for the entire boy’s state basketball tournament.
I tried to sell my tickets and had no takers, so I still had the option of going to the game. I chose to come home. So for the most exciting ending to a Husker game this year, I was on the road for the first 33 minutes of the game.
I don’t know why but we chose to go into an eating establishment and sit down rather than fast-food drive-thru and get on our way home. The best decision that we made that day! They had a TV going and there were six minutes or so left. We decided to watch and see how it ended even though at the time, it looked pretty bleak for the Huskers.
I did not know the Huskers had been down 47-31 three minutes into the second half, but all of a sudden the game got exciting, but with 43.9 seconds left in the game the Huskers were behind by seven. We almost got up and left but didn’t, and all of a sudden the game was tied and in OT and the Huskers win it.
A team I have watched the last few games who couldn’t hit the ocean from the shore scored 16 points in the final 47 seconds of regulation and finished up making nine consecutive shots and 10 of their last 11.
The Big Three were Big in scoring with James Palmer, Glenn Watson and Isaiah Roby getting 27 points, and Watson and Roby getting 23 each. The guy I thought was super was very little used walk-on Johnny Trueblood, who had only played 37 minutes all year long but got 26 minutes Sunday and had four assists, six rebounds and two steals. Add to this Amire Harris, a freshman, who was two for 12 on the season from the free-throw line, hitting a couple of big ones in the closing seconds of the game, and you had all the things that needed to happen, happen.
Iowa, on the other hand, closed out the regular season on a continued downward spiral for the past few games. Even though they had lost three consecutive games by double-digits, giving up a 16-point lead. The total collapse at the end had to hurt more than those other lost games.
I would think this game will go down in history as one of those games that will be labeled and talked about as one of the greatest comeback wins in Husker basketball history. Probably a bigger topic right now is whether or not this was Tim Miles’ last game coached at PBA. I would imagine it might take a deep run into the Big Ten tournament to save the job, but who knows.
There is a saying that there are only two kinds of coaches, those who get fired and the ones who will be fired. It’s all fun and games if you are winning, but tougher than all get out if you are not. Husker men can save it for Coach Miles or maybe not. It is a tough profession to say the least.
The Husker men pushed the state tournament article to the side, but I think there will be some state tournament thoughts next week. It was a really good tournament to watch with overtime and double overtime games. We didn’t get any state champions out west but Ogallala and Paxton picked up the third-place trophies, and that is good because after losing in the semi-finals of the state tournament, your team has to fire up their competitive spirit to put the disappointment aside and play well enough to win on Saturday’s third-place games.