NCAAB PREVIEWS |

Butler Bulldogs vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers Preview and Predictions 03-20-2019 in NCAAB

It hasn't exactly been a great year for the Butler Bulldogs, who, not that long ago, made back-to-back appearances in the national championship game under Brad Stevens. After what has to be considered a rather disappointing Big East season, they at least have an opportunity to redeem themselves a little bit in the National Invitation Tournament.

The Nebraska Cornhuskers are a team that has a little controversy swirling around it, as there is much speculation as to who is going to be the head coach next year. So people are wondering whether Tim Miles is going to have an opportunity to save his job if his team makes a run.

Nebraska will host Butler in first-round NIT action at the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln on Wednesday night.

TV: ESPN2, 9 PM ET. LINE: Check Intertops for the latest line 

ABOUT BUTLER: Things looked extremely encouraging in the early going, as the Bulldogs racked up non-conference victories over the likes of Ole Miss, Florida and UC-Irvine. But then there was a 77-43 defeat in the rematch with Florida, followed by a conference campaign that left them with a record of 7-12 in league play. After getting bounced by 23 points by Providence right away in the Big East tournament, they've now had a week to get ready for this NIT appearance. This is also their opportunity to get over the .500 mark, as they are 16-16 straight-up (12-19-1 against the spread). The best player is Kamar Baldwin, a member of the all-Big East second-team who averaged 17.2 points and five rebounds per game. He is definitely not the guy you want to foul, as he's hit 85.6% of his free throws. Sean McDermott is the kind of player who can explode on occasion; he had 27 points in a loss to Marquette and is just below 40% from downtown. If at all possible, Butler would like to slow down the pace; they are 12-2 this season when holding the opponent under 70 points. They do a very good job taking care of the basketball, turning it over just 10.9 times per game. Head coach LaVall Jordan is in his second year at the school, and currently sports a record of 37-30. Butler has not done well-getting points this season (2-6-1 ATS).

ABOUT NEBRASKA: When you tell the story about what's happening with the Cornhuskers, you have to start with the status of head coach Tim Miles, who is currently only two victories away from 400 for his career, but has more or less been written off by everybody observing the situation. He will land somewhere, but as far as the media is concerned, the next head coach will be Fred Hoiberg, the Iowa State alum who coached the Cyclones and also the Chicago Bulls. In fact, word is that he's already met with school officials. One thing that may have served to derail Nebraska's season is the injury suffered by 6-9 forward Isaac Copeland, who was averaging 14 points per game. On a team that doesn't have a lot of firepower that's a big void. Nebraska is outside the nation's top 200 when it comes to shooting both two and three-pointers, but this is a careful and deliberate squad, ranking in the nation's top ten in offensive turnover rate. There has been some hope for this team in recent games, as they beat Iowa in overtime in the regular-season finale, then scored a 69-61 victory over nationally -ranked Maryland in the Big 10 tournament, before losing by four points to Top 20 Wisconsin, in a game where they actually overcame a 13-point first deficit to assume the lead. James Palmer, a 6-6 guard, is the leading scorer at 19.6 points per game, and he upped his production in the conference tourney, averaging 24.3 a game. The Huskers are currently 18-16 straight-up and 17-15-1 against the pointspread.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Butler head coach LaVall Jordan played for the Bulldogs and was an assistant coach there. He came back to his alma mater after one year as head coach at Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

2. Nebraska is in the NIT for the 19th time. They won the championship in 1996.

3. Butler guard Paul Jorgensen was this year's Big East Sixth Man of the Year and is 20th best in the nation in turnover rate. He was also a member of the George Washington squad that won the 2016 NIT championship.

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Stadium

Pinnacle Bank Arena
Lincoln, Nebraska, USA.
Capacity: 14,970

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nebraska-cornhuskers-basketball Stats 2018-2019

Offensive
Player GP GS P A PH FGA FGM FTA FTM 3PFGA 3PFG RO
Player GP GS P A PH FGA FGM FTA FTM 3PFGA 3PFG RO
James Palmer Jr. 31 0 593 97 30 482 176 238 184 181 57 35
Glynn Watson Jr. 31 0 404 91 25 356 148 49 40 175 68 14
Isaiah Roby 30 0 344 59 23 272 124 111 71 70 25 60
Isaac Copeland Jr. 20 0 280 22 24 200 105 65 45 71 25 30
Thomas Allen 29 0 253 59 18 220 96 29 25 99 36 10
Defensive
Player GP GS RD B S TO FP FT
Player GP GS RD B S TO FP FT
Isaiah Roby 30 0 154 53 38 59 97 0
Glynn Watson Jr. 31 0 110 2 35 45 74 0
James Palmer Jr. 31 0 97 14 44 64 68 0
Isaac Copeland Jr. 20 0 77 18 21 31 41 0
Thomas Allen 29 0 71 6 38 29 29 0

butler-bulldogs-basketball Stats 2018-2019

Offensive
Player GP GS P A PH FGA FGM FTA FTM 3PFGA 3PFG RO
Player GP GS P A PH FGA FGM FTA FTM 3PFGA 3PFG RO
Kamar Baldwin 31 0 543 100 30 454 204 111 95 127 40 19
Paul Jorgensen 31 0 367 48 27 327 131 52 37 175 68 17
Sean McDermott 31 0 301 15 27 228 101 37 30 173 69 24
Joey Brunk 31 0 240 32 20 148 92 85 55 3 1 46
Jordan Tucker 22 0 207 15 24 184 64 43 35 124 44 8
Defensive
Player GP GS RD B S TO FP FT
Player GP GS RD B S TO FP FT
Kamar Baldwin 31 0 136 11 48 88 79 0
Sean McDermott 31 0 95 5 15 23 64 0
Jordan Tucker 22 0 88 2 11 28 46 0
Paul Jorgensen 31 0 80 3 20 26 36 0
Joey Brunk 31 0 70 6 5 31 48 0