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Better Know A Gavitt Games Opponent: Nebraska

We continue our series with one of the newer teams in the Big Ten, and possibly the unofficial second favorite school of AE.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Marquette has a varying history with the members of the Big Ten.  They have a long running series with Wisconsin, of course, and there are a few other schools that MU has squared off with over the years.  With the announcement of the Gavitt Tipoff Games and at least six games against Big East opponents, we're going to check in on Marquette's history against each of the 13 teams and see what could make for the most interesting matchups.

For lack of any particular order of importance, we'll go in order of how many times Marquette has seen each particular opponent.  This week, we'll tackle the second of three teams that MU has only played eight times.


All Time Series: 4-4
Last Meeting: November 30, 2005

That last meeting was a 84-74 Nebraska victory that evened the all time series at four apiece.  That 10 point road loss came in the first season of the Three Amigos at Marquette, and just more than a month after that loss, MU would obliterate #2 Connecticut back at home on the Bradley Center.  If you wanted to make slightly crazy arguments, you could make a case that Steve Novak and crew wouldn't have been able to do what they did to the Huskies without having to suffer some adversity against the Huskers.

That 2005 game was part of a home-and-home series with Nebraska, with MU coming out ahead a year earlier at the BC.  Before that, you have to go back to 1987 to find a game between the two schools, but that one only came about because the Warriors were matched up with the Huskers in the first round of the NIT.  That NIT game was the only contest between Marquette and Nebraska between 1958 and 2004.  There were two Marquette-Nebraska games in the 1940s, and the first meeting came back in 1933, so let's go ahead and say that this series has been sporadic at best.

Tim Miles has only been the head coach at Nebraska for two seasons, but they've been a pretty good two seasons.  Yes, they struggled in Miles' first season, just like they did in Doc Sadler's final season.  But the Huskers ended up as the fourth best team in the Big Ten this past season and landed themselves in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1998.  They also had one of the most auspicious exits from the NCAA tournament, but not so much because of the loss to Baylor.  No, it was a noticeable loss because Karl Hess, AKA no one's favorite referee, was forced to admit that he had made a mistake in not noticing or correcting a shot clock issue that he had ejected Tim Miles for leaving the coaching box to tell him about.  He didn't apologize for ejecting Miles, of course, but hey, this is a guy who didn't admit he had screwed up handling sending teams the wrong way in overtime, so you take what you can get.

It's probably not a coincidence that Nebraska had arguably their best season in 15 years the same year that they opened a brand new arena.  The Huskers have moved from the Delaney Events Center to Pinnacle Bank Arena, where they went 15-1 in the inaugural season.  The lone loss was a 71-70 squeaking at the hands of Michigan as Derrick Walton got a layup for the Wolverines with 23 seconds left and Nebraska couldn't capitalize on a last second layup or put back.

The Huskers drew amazing crowds in the first season at Pinnacle Bank Arena, averaging 15,419 fans in a building that Wikipedia says only holds 15,147 for basketball.  That's a major increase from the 10,352 patrons that they averaged in 2012-13.