Indiana Basketball vs Nebraska: Know your opponent, preview and prediction

Rob Phinisee, Indiana Basketball. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Rob Phinisee, Indiana Basketball. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

Indiana basketball opens up the Big Ten Tournament with a matchup against a shorthanded Nebraska squad, looking to go 3-0 against the Cornhuskers this year.

Once again, Indiana basketball will head to the Big Ten Tournament looking for at least one win to feel a lot less stress come Selection Sunday this weekend.

Last year it didn’t go so well as the Hoosiers fell just short against Ohio State, and this year Indiana will be playing on the opening day for the first time ever going up against what could be a shorthanded Nebraska roster.

The Cornhuskers come into the Big Ten Tournament losing 16 games in a row as they have been outscored by 223 points in that span. To say they are hurting would be putting it nicely. Even worse, both Cam Mack and Dachon Burke did not make the trip for the Big Ten Tournament and will miss the game against Indiana.

Because they can’t go, it is up to Haanif Cheatham who has been playing some of the best basketball in his career over the past month. In the last 11 games, Cheatham is averaging 14.7 points per game while shooting 44 percent from the field.

Thorir Thorbjarnarson is the second leading scorer for Nebraska over the past few games and has had success against the Hoosiers this season, averaging 15.0 points per game on 40 percent shooting from deep.

Related Story. Big Ten Tournament Preview. light

Season Matchup

Indiana has won both matchups this season with Trayce Jackson-Davis scoring a then career-high 25 points and 15 rebounds in a 96-90 overtime win in the first matchup. In the second regular season matchup, the IU frontcourt combined for 49 points and 25 rebounds in an 82-74 victory.

Key storylines


Can the Hoosiers play above the competition and get a win that would make them an almost certain lock for the NCAA Tournament? Trayce Jackson-Davis has dominated both matchups averaging 21.5 points and 14.0 rebounds. Will he remain that dominant? Can the guards find a rhythm? Will Indiana put together a full 40 minutes? Indiana should dominant this game from start to finish.


The season is all but over for Nebraska, but can they come out and pull off the upset? if Burke and Mack don’t play, who steps up in their absence? A 16-game losing streak had little positives as 11 of them have come by double-digits.

Key Players


Trayce Jackson-Davis (13.6 ppg, 8.1 rpg), Devonte Green (10.8 ppg, 2.6 rpg), Justin Smith (10.4 ppg, 5.1 rpg),  ppg, 5.4 rpg), Al Durham (9.7 ppg, 2.5 apg)


Haanif Cheatham (13.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg), Thorir Thorbjarnarson (8.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg), Jervay Green (7.9 ppg, 4.1 rpg), Kevin Cross (6.6 ppg, 3.7 rpg)

Next. 5 Takeaways From Indiana's Regular Season. dark

Prediction: Indiana 75, Nebraska 58