Hoosiers, Hulls get second shot at Huskers after last year’s upset
By Andy Proffet Post-Tribune correspondent February 12, 2013 11:22PM
LINCOLN, NE - JANUARY 18: Toney McCray #0 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers celebrates with teammates and fans after defeating the Indiana Hoosiers at The Devany Center January 18, 2012 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images) R:\Merlin\Getty_Photos\137291151.jpg
The Big Numbers
Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller need 30 and 41 points, respectively, to reach 1,000 career points. At the rate they’re going, both could achieve the feat on Saturday against Purdue.
IU’s starting backcourt didn’t fare all that well against Ohio State, as Jordan Hulls and Yogi Ferrell combined for six points, seven assists and four rebounds.
Maybe Hulls will do better with a new haircut. Tom Crean had mentioned Hulls’ hair a few games ago, and Hulls finally “broke down” to get it cut.
“It just kind of hit my eyes a little bit,” Hulls said. “It’ll grow back fast though.”
Updated: March 14, 2013 6:48AM
BLOOMINGTON — Indiana-Nebraska doesn’t carry quite the Big Ten rivalry cachet of Indiana-Purdue, Indiana-Ohio State or even Indiana-Penn State.
What it does carry is this: Nebraska is 1-0 against the Hoosiers as a member of the Big Ten. Last season in Lincoln, Jorge Brian Diaz made two free throws with 11 seconds to play, and Jordan Hulls missed twice on the ensuing possession in the Huskers’ 70-69 win.
“I don’t think it has a lot to do with tomorrow night, obviously, but you do remember things,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said Tuesday in advance of Wednesday’s game between the teams at Assembly Hall.
Diaz is gone, but Hulls is back with a chance to atone for that loss last season. It was just the second Nebraska win in 10 meetings all-time between the programs.
Tonight’s game will be the third time in the last four games in the series in which the Hoosiers (21-3, 9-2 Big Ten) have been ranked in the top two in the polls. IU held on to the No. 1 spot in this week’s Associated Press poll but slipped to No. 2 in the USA Today/ESPN poll.
A Nebraska team hasn’t beaten a No. 1 team since a Feb. 6, 1982 victory at Missouri. That’s 10 straight losses to top-ranked opponents, with seven of those coming against former Big Eight/Big 12 rival Kansas.
While the Hoosiers share the Big Ten’s best conference record with Michigan State heading into the week, the Huskers (12-12, 3-8) are fortunate to count Penn State as a conference “rival.” Two of Nebraska’s conference wins have come over the Nittany Lions.
Nebraska’s been decent defensively in conference play. The Huskers are tied with Minnesota for fifth in points allowed at 63.1 ppg — Indiana is seventh, allowing 64.9 ppg during Big Ten play.
But the Hoosiers far outdistance the Huskers on offense. The Hoosiers have averaged 75.9 points against Big Ten opponents; Nebraska is scoring 55.9 ppg in conference play. Only Penn State is worse.
Still, with last week’s loss at Illinois, Crean and his team know they can’t take anyone lightly.
“They play you a lot of different ways,” Crean said of the Huskers, while praising first-year coach Tim Miles.
Crean should know. Of Miles’ 2-0 record against ranked opponents during a six-year stint at North Dakota State, one of those wins came against Crean and No. 8 Marquette, in Milwaukee.
“They believe they’re tough and I haven’t seen anything on film to make me think that they’re not,” Crean said.