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Nebraska Saturday at the Drum

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Sorry this is so late. The #7 Longhorns (20-3, 8-1) take on Nebraska (15-7, 5-4) on ESPN Saturday afternoon 3 PM CST. The Cornhuskers roll into Austin tied for fourth place in the Big 12 and will try to steal one from the more talented Horns. Texas has won twelve of their last thirteen games and has only lost at home once this season. Nebraska had their three game winning streak snapped in a blowout loss to Kansas in Lincoln on Saturday. The Horns lead the all time series with Nebraska 12-4 including 8-0 in Austin. It will take an extreme lack of focus by the Horns and some surprising offensive efficiency for the Cornhuskers to escape with a victory.

Nebraska wins and loses with defense. In league play, they are 5-0 when holding their opponents under 60 points and 0-4 when their opponents score more than 60 points. The Horns have scored more than 60 in all nine of their Big 12 games. Texas has been held to 65 points once and 66 points twice in Big 12 play. But the Horns won all three games.

The Cornhuskers dismissed one of their best if not their best player, Joe McCray, from the team two weeks ago for team rule violations. McCray was averaging nearly 10 points per game. Following his dismissal, Nebraska has been searching for replacement scoring and floor leadership. They have found some help from sophomore center Aleks Maric. Maric (6'11" 265 lbs) has posted double-doubles in each of the last three games. He is averaging nine points and seven rebounds for the season. Nebraska also gets double figure scoring from senior forward Wes Wilkinson (12 ppg, 6.6 rpg) and senior guard Jason Dourisseau (11 ppg, 7 rpg). The Huskers have struggled with outside shooting all year. They shoot just over 40% as a team. Look for Texas to play their solid 2-3 zone for most of the afternoon.

The Huskers are not a particularly good rebounding team either. They average just three more boards per game than their opponents. Texas is much better averaging 10 more rebounds per game than their opponents. Texas is also second nationally in field goal percentage defense.

This one doesn't look good on paper for Nebraska. They are a below average shooting team. They turn the ball over equal to the amount of turnovers they create. They haven't been good on defense all year and they don't win games unless their opponents score under 60. Texas should dominate this one. I don't know if we will win by 34 (see Texas Tech or Ok. State at home) but this one will be over by halftime. If Lamarcus Aldridge can stay out of foul trouble, I see him having a big game. PJ Tucker will continue his All American campaign with another double-double. The Horns roll, 75-55.

--AW--