Quinn's Corner: Ready for March hoops?

Could multiple local teams go dancing?

There's one thing I'm fairly certain of at this point: Nebraska isn't going dancing this year. 

Yeah, I know the Huskers could still go on a miracle run through the Big Ten tournament and make the field. I could also hit the progressive slots next week when I'm in Vegas. I won't hold my breath on either. 

Creighton is virtually a lock to make the field of 68, based mainly on their work prior to the middle of January.

Since the Mo Watson injury, the Jays have managed just five wins: DePaul (2), Butler, Georgetown, and St. Johns.

No exactly a murder's row. 

Luckily for local hoops fans, the UNO Mavericks have stepped up, and are ready to fill the sudden void left by the two heavy hitters. The Mavs are just one win away from clinching a spot in the tournament, and will go toe-to-toe with South Dakota State Tuesday night for the right to advance. 

There are story lines aplenty in the matchup for UNO, but none bigger than the chance to become the first Maverick team to make the NCAA postseason since the reclassification process was complete. Men's soccer was close this year, and there have been some individual athletes make some noise, but this would be the first team sport to break through. 

It would be a huge coup for a program that is clearly on the rise.

Another angle that will be hard to miss is the presence of South Dakota State sophomore Mike Daum, who hails from Kimball, NE. Daum is second in the country in scoring at 25.0 PPG. 

I've heard from some pretty good sources that UNO tried to recruit Daum, at least at some level, and he's made no secret of the fact that he held a bit of grudge against Nebraska after they didn't pursue him harder. Per a story earlier this year by Dirk Chatelain of the Omaha World Herald, Creighton didn't show much interest.

Funny how these things work out. 

I texted with Jerry Palm of CBS Sports earlier today, and asked him IF the Mavs were able to win tonight, would they be locked in as a 15-seed, or could they move up? He said it will depend on what happens in other small conferences, but he'd be more surprised to see them move down, as opposed to up. So that's good news. 

To me, Omaha feels like a potential 14-seed that nobody wants to play. Lots of seniors, experienced backcourt, high scoring, and at least one nightmare defender you have to deal with. Typically not a good combo for a weak 3-seed. 

It's all just one win away at this point. 


As I mentioned, I'm heading to Vegas next week for my yearly pilgrimage to the sports books during the madness.

In the Vegas spirit, here's my picks for every single game in the Big Ten and Big East tournaments. 


Wed, March 8

Nebraska over Penn State

Ohio State over Rutgers


Thu, March 9

Michigan over Illinois

Michigan State over Nebraska

Iowa over Indiana

Northwestern over Ohio State


Fri, March 10

Michigan over Purdue

Minnesota over Michigan State

Iowa over Wisconsin

Northwestern over Maryland


Sat, March 11

Michigan over Minnesota

Iowa over Northwestern


Sun, March 12

Michigan over Iowa



Wed, March 8

St. Johns over Georgetown

Xavier over DePaul


Thu, March 9

Villanova over St. Johns

Seton Hall over Marquette

Butler over Xavier

Providence over Creighton


Fri, March 10

Villanova over Seton Hall

Butler over Providence


Sat, March 11

Villanova (crushes) Butler


Hey, this picks thing is kind of fun. Here's one more for you - the Big 12 (my favorite conference tournament). 


Wed, March 8

TCU over Oklahoma

Texas over Texas Tech


Thu, March 9

Iowa State over Oklahoma State

Kansas over TCU

West Virginia over Texas

Baylor over K-State 


Fri, March 10

Kansas over Iowa State

Baylor over West Virginia


Sat, March 11

Kansas over Baylor


Oh, and one more quick note on Nebraska hoops. 

No, Tim Miles should NOT be let go following this season. 

Yeah, the last two weeks have been pretty miserable. But Nebraska would be setting themselves up for a lot more misery by shoving him out when there's actually potential with this team. 

Next season, I'll be all in on wins and losses determining whether or not Miles should be retained, but not right now. 


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Twitter: @JoeESPN590





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