No. 10 Nebraska (26-7) is set to face No. 4 Wisconsin (30-3) in the NCAA national title match on Saturday, Dec. 18 at 6:30 p.m. CT. It’s a rematch of the 2000 national championship match, which Nebraska won in five sets over Wisconsin.
The Huskers have advanced to the NCAA Final 10 times in program history. Saturday’s appearance marks the fourth time in the past seven seasons. Nebraska appeared in the NCAA Final in 1986, 1989, 1995, 2000, 2005, 2006, 2015, 2017 and 2018. The Huskers won the national championship in 1995, 2000, 2006, 2015 and 2017.
While Wisconsin has never won a national title, Saturday marks the program’s fourth finals appearance. The Badgers most recently reached the title match in 2019.
Nebraska-Wisconsin National Championship: TV channel, time, location
TV Channel: ESPN2
Time: 6:30 p.m. CT
Date: Saturday, December 18
Location: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
Nebraska-Wisconsin National Championship: How to watch
First serve between Nebraska and Wisconsin is set for 6:30 p.m. CT on ESPN2. Paul Sunderland will handle play-by-play duties, while Salima Rockwell will provide color commentary and Christine Williamson with courtside coverage.
For YouTube TV subscribers, Saturday night’s championship match will not be available on the platform. YouTube TV failed to reach a deal with Disney to keep Disney-owned channels on the TV streaming service. That means as of Saturday, Dec. 18th, networks like ABC and ESPN have been removed from YouTube TV’s platform.
If you have YouTube TV, here are options to watch tonight’s national championship match:
- FuboTV (7-day free trial)
- Hulu + Live TV (7-day free trial)
- Video (7-day free trial)
- SlingTV (first month for as low as only $10)
If you live in Lincoln, you can also head to Pinnacle Bank Arena for a watch party:
Need a place to catch the @Huskervball vs. Wisconsin NCAA Women’s Volleyball Championship match tomorrow, December 18th? Join us at our FREE Volleyball Watch Party & see it on our big screens while enjoying your favorite snacks & drinks! More info: https://t.co/0naW55yhrn pic.twitter.com/q52baEmtYR
— Pinnacle Bank Arena (@PinnacleArena) December 17, 2021
Live stream: ESPN+ (with any provider other than YouTube TV, as ESPN+ does not offer traditional ESPN channels on its streaming service without logging in through your TV provider)
Radio: Nebraska fans can listen to a live audio stream of the match on the new Huskers Radio Network at Huskers.com or in the Huskers app. John Baylor and Lauren Cook West will have the call.
Huskers Radio Network affiliates will also carry the match, which includes 107.3 FM in Lincoln and AM 590 in Omaha.
Nebraska-Wisconsin National Championship: Preview
Saturday will be a big challenge for Nebraska. Wisconsin has won seven straight in the series between the two programs, with the Badgers’ most recent win over the Huskers coming in Madison to seal a third straight Big Ten title.
Nebraska, however, is also 3-1 against Wisconsin in the postseason. Additionally, the Huskers won their second NCAA championship with a five-set win over the Badgers in 2000. That 2000 season was also John Cook’s first season as Nebraska’s head coach. He spent seven years as the head coach at Wisconsin prior.
Saturday marks Cook’s 100th NCAA Tournament match as Nebraska’s head coach. He holds an 82-17 record in the tournament.
Wisconsin head coach Kelly Sheffield is hopeful Wisconsin can finally join Nebraska as national champions.
“Look how many white banners they have in Devaney. We want a white banner,” Sheffield said on Friday. “The white banners are national championship banners in there and that’s somewhere (where) we’ve been close. We’ve been painfully close. That’s something that’s driving everyone. We want in to that exclusive club that they are VIPs in.”
Wisconsin comes into the match with Nebraska having defeated unbeaten No. 1 Louisville in five sets Thursday in the first NCAA Semifinal match. The Badgers currently hold a 10-match win streak, something that has been in place since Nov. 14.
For Nebraska, Thursday’s win over No. 3 Pittsburgh extended its journey a bit longer. The Huskers have lived by the motto that “The JOURNEY makes the STORY better,” which was printed on sweatshirts for the team to wear.
“It encompasses all our tournament run,” Nicklin Hames said about the sweatshirts. “Like I said yesterday, a lot of people didn’t believe in us, and we’ve been through this journey this entire season up and down and it wasn’t always perfect. But here we are and we’re excited. And those are our favorite sweatshirts we’ve ever gotten. They’re really cool. We were excited to get those yesterday.”
To get to this point, the Huskers had to take down No. 3 Pitt, No. 2 Texas and an Illinois team that upset No. 7 Kentucky in the second round, and they had to do that after suffering seven losses in the regular season, more than the other three teams that made it to Columbus combined.