Only two of those victories came at home, which is a pattern that carried through the start of this season. Prior to New Years' weekend, the Mavs had gone 4-13-1 at home in the calendar year of 2016.
Only four wins at home in nearly a year. All the momentum from the Frozen Four run and the opening of the new arena? Gone. Toast.
Interesting thing to note is that why UNO continued to struggle at home this season (2-5-1 prior to Christmas), the Mavs have been pretty good on the road, going 7-1-2 outside of Omaha. That's good enough to put UNO back into the NCAA tournament speculation; they're 14th nationally in the PairWise, which seeds the teams for the 16 team NCAA tournament. That's squarely on the bubble.
But now the season kicks in, and kicks in full force with the green hordes from North Dakota coming in. They'll be doing their customary large scale infiltration of Omaha, and even have their tailgate plans set up around UNO's new arena.
(Not sure how they're going to bring a Walmart down from Grand Forks...)tfw you order fried shrimp at the Cracker Barrel in Grand Forks and decide you're sophisticated pic.twitter.com/8gvDzH51lK— The Red Army (@RedArmyOmaha) January 4, 2017
It's a rough schedule once again in the second half of the season, with ten of 16 remaining games against top ten opponents. (North Dakota, Denver, and Minnesota-Duluth) But it's hard to imagine UNO doing any worse than last year down the stretch, and if UNO finally broke the Baxter Jinx with a sweep to close out the season on New Years' Eve, then anything is possible. The Fighting Sioux could be down two of their best players: sophomore Brock Boeser is recovering from wrist surgery while freshman Tyson Jost is playing tonight for Team Canada in the gold medal game in the World Juniors. Jost is the Effin' Hawks second leading scorer this season while Boeser led them last season.
It's probably more likely that Jost plays of the two; North Dakota coach Brad Berry said last month that the school had already arranged for Jost to fly directly into Omaha tomorrow. (Should we pray for fog?)