Sunday, February 18, 2007

A Slow Starting Weekend

If you thought the first half of "Big Monday" between Nebraska and Kansas was bad...the second half of the rematch in Lawrence was even worse. Altitude decided to show a hunting show instead of the game, so I was limited to catching bits of the radio coverage, and Nebraska was competitive early on. But Kansas went on a run late in the first half and it continued into the second half until Doc Sadler waved the white flag and cleared the bench for the final 10 minutes, creating an eyepopping 92-39 blowout. I see Doc's point...the Huskers have 5 games left, and they all look winnable to some extent: at #142 Baylor (2-10 in conference), #66 Missouri (5-7 in conference; Huskers won at Columbia last month), #130 Iowa State (4-8 in conference), at #236 Colorado (2-10 in conference), and #20 Oklahoma State (5-6 in conference).

After the game, the Huskers were even talking about the NCAA tournament. Some people might call it insane, but winning out will give the Huskers a 20 win season and a 9-7 conference record. Likely? Probably not, but nobody expected the Huskers to have a winning record at this point either. The Huskers still don't have a big win, unless you want to count their November win over vastly overrated Creighton. (#49 in RPI and sinking...)

Friday night, UNO mailed in the first 50 minutes against Ohio State in hockey, falling behind 4-0 before Scott Parse took over, scoring two quick goals to cut the lead in half. Parse picked up the action down the stretch, but the Mavs couldn't get closer than 4-3 in the end.

Saturday night, Parse made sure that UNO wouldn't make the same mistake when he fed Alex Nikiforuk who buried the puck 22 seconds into the game. However, the Mavs went scoreless the for the next 60:07, with Bryan Marshall scoring 29 seconds into overtime to give UNO home ice for the first round of the CCHA playoffs.

The positioning for the playoffs is quite a jumble with UNO, Ohio State, and Western Michigan all within 1 point of each other. UNO needs 3 or 4 points this weekend in the great white north of Alaska if they want to host the hapless Bowling Green perverts.

While it's been a rather disappointing season for UNO so far, I remember the last time I saw Scott Parse take over when the Mavs looked like they were short on heart... it was early January 2006, and UNO went on to only lose once over the next 6 weeks. Not sure if UNO has another run like that in them...but if they do, look out. This team definitely has the talent to compete with anybody...but is also inconsistent enough to lose to anybody.


torear said...

Point of fact - "vastly overrated" Creighton is 29 in the RPI rankings and is still listed as in (ranging from 6-11 with an average of a 9 seed) with the 27 major bracket projections.

Husker Mike said...

RealtimeRPI had them #49 when I posted it. As for whether they'll get into the tournament or not, it depends on how they finish. Didn't Missouri State end up in the NIT with a #20 RPI by one source? Whether BrieJay fans want to admit it or not, Creighton is on the bubble.

Not sure whether the various RPI calculations can be considered "facts". The "facts" are that Creighton's best win is against Xavier and have lost a lot of games that an NCAA tournament team shouldn't lose.