On Thursday, the Huskers made official what has been in the works for a while: former Big Eight foes will meet again on the hardwood in 2018.
The Huskers announced a Dec. 16 matchup with Oklahoma State to be played at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. It'll be the first meeting between the two teams since a 2011 Nebraska loss in the Big 12 Tournament. The Huskers are 64-53 all-time against the Cowboys.
“Going back to Sioux Falls is special. I know there are a lot of Husker fans in the state, and to go back and play a high-major game in Sioux Falls will be a lot of fun for everyone,” head coach and South Dakota native Tim Miles said in a release. “My parents (Tip and Alyce) plus all four siblings are in South Dakota, so to be able to play a game there is a unique opportunity. The role that Kelby Krabbenhoft, Sanford Health and the Sanford Pentagon have played is also very important. What they have done for college basketball in the Dakotas is incredible.
"I am excited to get two old conference foes together again. I think these games are important and drive local interest on both sides. [Oklahoma State] Coach [Mike] Boynton did a tremendous job in his first year getting that team to the NIT. He took over in very difficult circumstances and for him to rebound, have such great energy and such a great attitude says a lot about him as a coach. He’s is the type of guy I like to compete against.”
Oklahoma State went 21-15 last season and, like the Huskers, settled for the NIT after holding NCAA Tournament aspirations. Last year's squad had a school-record four wins over top-10 teams. OSU became the first team since 2003 to earn a regular-season sweep over Kansas and had four victories over teams in the 2018 NCAA Tournament Elite Eight. Oklahoma State is expected to be led on the court by juniors Lindy Waters and Cameron McGriff (scoring averages of 8.7 and 8.4 points per game, respectively last year).
Nebraska returns four of its starters and its top four scorers from last season's 22-win team, including All-Big Ten First-Teamer James Palmer Jr. (17.2 points, fifth in the Big Ten) and forward Isaac Copeland (12.9 points, 6.1 rebounds).
This time around, Nebraska is loading up in its nonconference slate. The game against the Cowboys adds to a schedule that already includes two games in Kansas City for the Hall of Fame Classic (Texas Tech, USC and Missouri State), an ACC/Big Ten matchup at Clemson, a Gavitt Tipoff Games contest with Seton Hall and the annual matchup with Creighton.
Tickets for the game go on sale on Sept. 7 at 10 a.m. A tip-off time and TV designation will be announced at a later date.
Derek is a newbie on the Hail Varsity staff covering Husker athletics. In college, he was best known as ‘that guy from Twitter.’ He has covered a Sugar Bowl, a tennis national championship and almost everything in between (except an NCAA men’s basketball tournament game… *tears*). In his spare time, he can be found arguing with literally anyone about sports.