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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 23, 1994)
Wednesday, February 23,1994
Three wins to be tough but may be enough
By Mitch Sherman
Danny Nee has the whole puzzle pieced
The Nebraska men’s basketball coach said it
would take at least three victories for the 14-8
Cornhuskers to find their way into the NCAA
tournament for the fourth straight year.
“You want numbers?” Nee said. “If we win
two games and go into the (Big Eight) tourna
ment and win one, then we are going to get into
the ‘big dance.’
to take form
From Daily Nebraskan and
Associated Press Reports
The pieces to a merger between the
Big Eight conference and four South
west Conference schools appear to be
falling into place.
The Houston Chronicle and Dallas
Morning News reported Tuesday that
the Big Eight invited Texas, Texas
A&M, Texas Tech and Baylor to join
the conference beginning in the 1996
Those SWC schools “in the loop”
were arranging hasty regents’ meet
ings Tuesday to decide whether they’ll
leave the league, the Associated Press
The courted foursome boast the
SWC’s strongest fan base and consis
tently best football and basketball
Their departure would leave Hous
ton, Rice, Southern Methodist and
Texas Christian on their own.
“I’m sure (the four left out) will not
be happy if they ask these four other
schools to join,” said Texas A&M
Athletic Director Wally Groff. “But
that’s these four schools’ prerogative.
We Aggies are traditional ists, no ques
tion, but you have to do what’s best for
Baylor regents scheduled a meet
ing Wednesday. Texas A&M and
Texas Tech regents set meetings for
Thursday and Friday.
One Texas regent anticipated no
problem endorsing the merger.
Big Eight Commissioner Carl
James would not take calls about the
proposal, but did issue a statement
regarding the Big Eight’s stance.
James said the Big Eight would
“continue to move forward in negoti
ating an arrangement that is best for
our institutions." But, he said, confer
ence officials “will not publicly ad
dress the most recent speculation on
the issue of expansion.”
Nebraska Athletic Director Bill
Byrne said conference athletic direc
tors were asked to not comment on the
A1 Papik, Nebraska’s senior asso
ciate athletic director, said he could
not comment from the Big Eight’s
perspective. But he did offer his opin
ion of the possibilities.
UEOr.PD nn 10
As the season winds down, the Big
Eight Conference is proving it de
serves the nickname “The Big Three.”
Only this time, it’s not in football.
Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma
State are locks for a spot in the NCAA
Tournament. But many are left won
dering how many teams from the Big
Eight will be selected.
Six, five, maybe only four?
Unlike past years, the Big Eight
may not showcase its depth in March
Madness, because the “Big Three”
may be the only teams that deserve a
shot at the Final Four.
W ith Oklahoma and Nebraska los
ing again last weekend, it’s not hard to
figure out why Big Eight basketball is
When the Big Eight landed six
teams in the tournament last year,
“If we win one regular season game and win
,,—-—_ two in the tournament, we
are going to get in. Now
that’s Danny Nee talking. I
don’t think the committee
listens to me, but if we get
around that 17-18 win mark,
we are going to be right
v'MMt The first item on the agon
da for the Huskers is Kan
sas, which plays Nebraska
Nee Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. in
the Bob Devaney Sports Center. The Jayhawks
have dropped five of their last six games in
But there’s more than meets the eye to
Kansas. The Jayhawks have dropped two straight
games, losing last Wednesday at Oklahoma
State and Sunday to Missouri in Lawrence,
That’s not unusual for most teams. But the
last time the Jayhawks lost back-to-back games
was Feb. 18 and Feb. 22,1989.
In addition to losing their second straight
game Sunday, the Jayhawks lost their chance
for at least a share of the Big Eight champion
ship for the first time since the 1989-90 season.
So what does all this mean for the Huskers?
“We are going to have to be ready to play,”
Nee said, “because I think we will get Kansas’
best shot on Wednesday night.”
The 11 -5 Jayhawks, who are ranked 1 Oth in
the latest Associated Press poll, have received
the Huskers’ top effort in recent trips to Lincoln.
But, Nee said, past performances mean nothing
to this game.
“In the past against Kansas,” he said, “we
have been fortunate and lucky enough to find a
way to play well for 40 minutes and win. But
See JAYHAWKS on 10
- Jon Waller/DN
Chad Nelson, who suffered a tom anterior cruciate ligament, will have to sit and watch the NCAA wrestling
championships for the second straight season.
Down for the count
Injury keeps wrestler out for third consecutive season
By Tim Pearson
Senior Report* _
Chad Nelson thought this year would be the
Nelson had waited two years for the chance
to wrestle at the Big Eight and NCAA tourna
But for the third season in a row, Nelson will
be watching from the stands.
A tom anterior cruciate ligament in his knee
at the National Duals just over a month ago
ended his hopes of wrestling in the Big Eight
and NCAA meets.
Nelson, a 167-pound sophomore, redshirted
two years ago and wrestled behind Tommy
Robbins last year.
Watching last year’s Big Eight-champion
Cornhusker team was tough for Nelson, he said.
“I kept telling myself that I’ll be there next
year,” he said. “But now I’ll be watching the
dang thing for the third year in a row.”
Nelson’s season came to a halt at the Nation
al Duals against Iowa State.
“It just popped out,” he said. “I didn’t think
it was that bad. It hurt when it popped, but I just
tried to wrestle.
“I finished the match, and I thought I would
wake up the next morning and it would be a lot
But Nelson’s season took a turn for the
worse. The next morning he was told that he had
torn his anterior cruciate ligament.
“I was really bummed out,” Nelson said.
“First of all, I had a really bad National Dual
“I was depressed. I thought I’d just go and
have treatment, but the whole season’s gone
It will be another three months until Nelson
can step on a mat again.
Nelson’s college career began after a stellar
high school career at Stewartville (Minn.) High
See NELSON on 11
Now is time for Big Eight teams to put up or shut up
people had to listen to Billy Tubbs and
the Sooners cry about not making the
But at least in the National Invita
tion Tournament, Tubbs and Co. had
a longer postseason than their confer
Kansas was the only conference
team to make a serious threat in the
NCAA tournament last year, as four
others were ousted in the first round.
Oklahoma State managed to struggle
past Marquette in the first round, only
to lose in the following round to Lou
But the Big Eight is no stranger to
a lack of success against the big boys
in the big games.
Since 1989, the Big Eight has been
on a slide. Without the Jayhawks, the
conference has an NCAA tournament
record ofl 2-19. With Kansas, a team
that made it to the Final Four in 1991
and 1993, the conference is 23-23.
This season, pollsters are showing
that they don’t consider the Big Eight
as tough as it once was. Only Kansas,
Missouri and Oklahoma State arc rat
ed in The Associated Press’ latest Top
Missouri, however, climbed to
sixth after beating Kansas at Lawrence
Sunday and running away from the
rest of the “Big Three” with an 11-0
conference record — 20-2 overall.
Kansas, the most overrated team in
college basketball, dropped to only
10th, even though the Jaynawks’ sec
ond loss this season to the Tigers
dropped them to 6-4 in the Big Eight.
Oklahoma State, 18-7, checked in at
After being manhandled 89-76 by
Kansas State Saturday, 14-8 and 5-5
Oklahoma maybe trying to take itself
out of the tournament picture.
The 14-8 and 4-6 Comhuskers are
trying to climb past the Sooners into
fourth place. But with Kansas, Kansas
State and Oklahoma State remaining
on the schedule at home and Missouri
lurking on the road, it won’t be easy.
Chalk up a victory over Kansas for
three reasons: Kansas can’t win in
Lincoln; it’s as overrated as Texas
A&M is in football and it has that
stupid bird mascot.
Nebraska should get another win
against Kansas State, but a victory
over Missouri or Oklahoma State will
be hard to come by.
Then again, wins like those will
show Nebraska deserves another
chance at the tournament.
If the Huskers don’t finish strong,
they can join many of their Big Eight
buddies in the NIT and watch the “Big
Three” struggle to make it to the
Rather than clamoring about a lack
of respect, the Big Eight schools who
make the big dance should try earning
it this year.
Samson Is a sophomore news-editorial
major and a Daily Nebraskan senior report
er and columnist.
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