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February 22, 2013
Huskers eager to finally face off with Hawkeyes
What was already going to be a bit of a break in Nebraska's schedule this week turned into a much longer layover than anticipated due to the threat of severe winter weather in Lincoln the past couple days.
While the much-hyped snowstorm ended up being a typical February snowfall for Nebraska standards, the fear of potential travel issues for the Huskers' home game against Iowa on Thursday night made administrators at both schools decide to postpone the game until Saturday at 1 p.m. CT.
As a result, Nebraska was left with two more days to prepare for the Hawkeyes, which was met with mixed reviews from head coach Tim Miles and his players.
"The one thing about snow days that's interesting about practice is it's like a full moon," Miles said. "The guys are a little odd, and you've just got to get them in line. But I thought overall we got done what we needed to get done and had a fairly productive day. I wish we would've played the game, although I know it would've been a train wreck probably in terms of attendance and those things and travel for Iowa. I don't like the delay and all that, but that's part of the deal, too. It's not something we're not accustomed to."
On the positive side, Miles said the Huskers were able to get in two good days of practice on Thursday and Friday as well as more than enough looks at Iowa in film study and game planning.
However, the game change also threw a bit wrench in the staff's schedule for the week, especially on the recruiting front. In addition, it leaves NU with just two days to get ready for its next game at Wisconsin on Tuesday night, where the Badgers will be coming off a five-day break of their own.
"Recruiting travel is where it probably set us back," Miles said. "I had two trips I probably would've taken and we didn't. Then it shorts us. Wisconsin sits there without a game (this weekend) and then we have to sit there and play and have a quick turnaround before we play them. So that's where it really hurts you. That and waiting."
All that being said, the Huskers are really just anxious to get back on the court again in a meaningful Big Ten Conference showdown for both teams. Nebraska comes in fighting for its post-season life and trying to get some sort of momentum going before the start of the Big Ten Tournament.
Iowa is also trying to keep its NCAA Tournament hopes alive, which in all reality would mean winning out its final five games, two of which coming against NU. Though the Iowa-Nebraska series in football has been pushed to become a border rivalry, senior forward Brandon Ubel said the teams had more than enough to play for already to really think of the game as much of a rivalry clash.
"I think that's more how the fans kind of look at it as," Ubel said. "Every game for us is big in terms of we're still trying to get to post-season. We're trying to get to the NIT or kind of get rolling here and maybe make a run in the (Big Ten) tournament, and Iowa is clawing their way to get into the NCAA Tournament. So there's a lot at stake for both of us, and it's definitely going to be a hard-fought in that respect."
Nebraska and Iowa are in a bit of a unique situation because of their schedules in that not only do they play twice in a span of 14 days to close out the regular season, there's also a chance they could meet for a third time a week later in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament.
"That's part of conference tournaments, first of all," Miles said. "The unbalanced schedule, I'm sure that there's great reasoning for that. It just is what it is. I would prefer to have a schedule where you see everybody once before you play the next guys twice, but that's just being me, the guy from Dolan (S.D.) and that's the way we did it at Dolan High and in the NAIA and all that stuff. When Major League Baseball is doing your scheduling, I'm sure they've got good cause and good reason."