Lincoln – The Nebraska men’s basketball program will make its first postseason appearance in four years, as the Huskers were selected for the National Invitational Tournament (NIT) Sunday evening.
Nebraska, which enters the postseason with a 22-10 record, is the No. 5 seed and will take on No. 4 seed Mississippi State (22-11), on Wednesday, March 14 at Humphrey Coliseum in Starkville, Miss. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. (central) and the game will be televised on ESPN2 and carried on the Huskers Sports Network.
The Huskers opened the season by playing the Bulldogs in a charity exhibition game in October, winning 76-72 in Starkville.
The 2018 NIT is the 25th postseason appearance in school history and 18th time NU has been selected for the NIT. The Huskers are 23-16 all-time in the NIT, including a championship in the 1996 NIT and semifinal appearances in 1983 and 1987. This is NU’s first NIT appearance since 2011.
The Huskers finished fourth in the Big Ten with a 13-5 record before losing to eventual tournament champion Michigan in the Big Ten Quarterfinals on March 2. Nebraska is led by a pair of All-Big Ten selections in James Palmer Jr. and Isaac Copeland Jr. Palmer was a first-team All-Big Ten pick by the conference coaches, as he averaged 17.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game. Copeland garnered honorable-mention All-Big Ten honors by both the coaches and media, as he averaged 12.9 points, a team-high 6.2 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game.
Mississippi State is 22-10 and finished tied for seventh in the Southeastern Conference. Coach Ben Howland’s team went 18-2 at Humphrey Coliseum this season. The Bulldogs feature four players who average double figures, including Quinndary Weatherspoon, who averaged 14.8 points and 5.8 rebounds per game en route to second-team All-SEC honors. Nick Weatherspoon was a freshman All-SEC team member and is second in the team in scoring at 11.1 ppg.
If Nebraska wins, Nebraska will play the winner of top-seeded Baylor against eighth-seeded Wagner in the second round.