Nebraska is not headed to Minneapolis this weekend for the men's Final Four. I know, sorry to break it to you. Would've been so convenient, too.
Huskers James Palmer Jr. and Glynn Watson Jr., however, will be in the Twin Cities to play a little basketball as part of the weekend of events around the NCAA tournament's final weekend.
Palmer was selected to take part in the Reese's College All-Star Game, an annual event featuring 20 of the "most outstanding" senior players in college basketball. Palmer, the third-leading scorer (19.7 ppg) in the Big Ten this season and a third-team all-conference selection, will represent the East team coached by the only three-time dunk champion in NBA history, Nate Robinson.
Palmer is one of two players from the Big Ten in the game. Minnesota forward Jordan Murphy, in feat of wacky geography, will play for the West and coach Jason Terry.
The Reese's College All-Star Game is Friday at 3:30 p.m. CT and will be broadcast live by CBS Sports Network.
Watson will also be busy Friday playing in the Dos Equis 3x3U National Championship. The Nebraska guard will represent the Big Ten in the 3-on-3 tournament alongside Minnesota's Murphy (really busy day for him), Wisconsin forward Ethan Happ and Indiana forward Juwan Morgan.
This is the second year for the 3x3U event. It's an interesting presentation. Here, just watch this promo video quick. You'll see what I mean.
For an entity, the NCAA, that has always fiercely defended amateurism (and that might be putting it mildly) there's some cognitive dissonance to seeing teams named after the NCAA conferences they represent playing for a literal bag of cash. This tournament went hard on the money angle during last year's broadcast. And, of course, none of these players are college athletes any more, but some of them were still playing a week ago. It’s virtually impossible to think of these players as anything other than college players at this point, even though they’re technically not.
And I like that the 3x3U is unabashed on this front. It serves as a nice encapsulation of all the conflicts that are easier to ignore otherwise.
You can see it for yourself on Sunday. The Round of 16 games will be streamed on Twitter in the morning with the final rounds on ESPN2 in the afternoon.
The Grab Bag
- Here’s your press conference recap from Fred Hoiberg’s time at the podium Tuesday.
- Derek Peterson on how Hoiberg ended up taking the Nebraska job.
- Jacob Padilla caught up with Isaiah Roby and Johnny Trueblood to talk about their futures with the program.
- Nebraska will have $1 million to spend on basketball assistants and one is already in place.
Today’s Song of Today
Brandon is the Managing Editor for Hail Varsity and has covered Nebraska athletics for the magazine and web since 2012, Hail Varsity’s first season on the scene. His sports writing has also been featured by Fox Sports, The Guardian and CBS Sports.