Saturday, December 15, 2007

That did just happen

A lot of people didn't bother to make the drive from Lincoln to Omaha for this afternoon's matchup between the Husker men and #16 Oregon. They said it wasn't worth driving through fresh, wet snow to see Nebraska get embarrassed by a team that vastly outmatched them. If you know what's going to happen, why bother?

I'd like to direct those people's attention to Exhibit A.

I had a post all planned out in my mind that had something to do with how lovely it would be if the players on the court were the ones who decided the outcome of the game instead of the officials. The refs today were outrageously bad. I thought that if a ref took a bribe from one team, he'd at least try to hide the fact that he's doing his best to hand that team the game.

Fortunately for all of us (and the safety of today's officiating crew), Nebraska was, by far, the better team on the court at the Qwest Center today. To me, they won two games: One against Oregon, and one against the refs. Sure, they had their ugly moments, like Aleks Maric missing a wide open layup with under 2 minutes left, or Steve Harly fouling Oregon's Tajuan Porter as Porter sank a 3 to tie the game with 9 seconds left. Or all the travels, flagrant fouls, and even double-dribbles that Ducks got away with, or all the times Husker players were called for fouls when they were barely in the same neighborhood as the Duck with the ball. (For example, Ade Dagunduro fouled out today, but in a game with real refs he would have only had three fouls, and the dude from Oregon who threw Ryan Anderson to the floor three different times would have fouled out before halftime.) But it had more highs than lows, like Porter missing his free throw with 9 seconds left, allowing us to head to overtime, or Ryan Anderson nailing a three pointer to start the extra frame. Heck, I'm still on a high from the game, and it ended hours ago.

Yes, this game took its fan from some pretty harsh lows -- "Maric, how could you miss yet another layup?!?" -- to some lofty highs -- see again, Exhibit A -- and left many of us with the feeling that this could be The Year for the Huskers. Time, and the Huskers' performance in conference play will tell, but if they make it to March, you heard it here first.

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