Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. Rutgers Scarlet Knights Pick & Prediction MARCH 3rd 2024

Nebraska will try to improve its NCAA Tournament resume and avenge a loss when it hosts Rutgers in a Big Ten Conference game on Sunday in Lincoln, Neb.

The Cornhuskers (20-9, 10-8 Big Ten) can set a school record for home wins in a season. They are 17-1 at Pinnacle Bank Arena, and a victory over the Scarlet Knights (15-13, 7-10) would cap a perfect home conference slate for the first time since 2017-18.

To do that, Nebraska has to put in a better overall effort than in its last game, a 78-69 loss at Ohio State on Thursday that snapped a four-game win streak. Up seven late in the first half, the Cornhuskers were outscored by 16 the rest of the way.

“I just didn’t see that same fire that we’ve been playing with that led to our four-game winning streak by double digits,” said Nebraska coach Fred Hoiberg, who has guided the team to its first 20-win season in his five-year tenure and its best Big Ten mark since 2017-18. “I just didn’t see the same passion defensively that we played with. That has to change these last two games of the regular season and into the postseason.”

Rutgers beat Michigan 82-52 on Thursday to snap a three-game losing skid, getting 19 points and 15 rebounds from Clifford Omoruyi. The senior center also had 15 boards when the Scarlet Knights beat Nebraska in overtime at home on Jan. 17.

“Cliff’s development here has been incredible,” Rutgers coach Steve Pikiell said. “He has gotten better, and I challenged him hard these past few days. I’m really proud of him.”

Before the Michigan win, the Knights had been alternating streaks of three or more games, including a four-game win streak that included their only two conference road victories.

Nebraska, which is 9-0 in Big Ten play at home but 1-8 on the road, blew a 12-point second-half lead at Rutgers in the 87-82 OT loss in Piscataway, N.J. At home the Cornhuskers have won their league games by an average of 13.8 points.

–Field Level Media

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