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That’s the answer to the question, “Who was Nebraska’s coach the last time they won a regular season conference title in Men’s Basketball?”
That’s the answer to the question, “Who was Nebraska’s coach when they won their first NCAA Tournament game?”
Nebraska Basketball or as it’s commonly referred to “Nebrasketball” has a somewhat noteworthy if decidedly ignominious history. The number of Power 5 Conference schools that have not won a NCAA Tournament game can be listed on one hand with fingers left over. Nebraska and Northwestern. That’s the list.
Northwestern has never made the NCAA Tournament, and Nebraska has never made it beyond the first round.
Seven appearances and seven losses.
1986 – 9th seed Nebraska loses to 8th seed Western Kentucky 59-67
1991 – 3rd seed Nebraska loses to 14th seed Xavier 84-89
1992 – 8th seed Nebraska loses to 9th seed Connecticut 65-86
1993 – 10th seed Nebraska loses to 7th seed New Mexico State 79-93
1994 – 6th seed Nebraska loses to 11th seed Penn 80-90
1998 – 11th seed Nebraska loses to 6th seed Arkansas 65-74
2014 – 11th seed Nebraska loses to 6th seed Baylor 60-74
Heartbreak and Nebraska Basketball have been frequent companions, but the most frequent companion has been apathy.
It’s difficult to describe the life of a Nebraska Basketball fan, especially the fan who cares more about basketball than football. You cheer for football. You bask in their successes, despair in their failures, but you take comfort in history and tradition. There is no comfort in Husker Basketball. There is only longing.
You long for the day that Nebraska finally makes it passed the foot of the mountain. The mountain you’ve long stood at the foot of and watched numerous teams scale to the top. I’m 31 and still waiting. My father is 67 and still waiting. Apathy is the result. Eventually, you simply stop going to games, turn off the television, avoid the game. Apathy is one of the most dangerous things that a program has to combat. So, the program makes changes to excite the fanbase. The program must, at all costs, bring hope to its fans.
Nebraska is now in the fourth year of its seventh head coaching reign since winning a regular season conference championship, and hope has for the time being returned to Huskers. The hope has been brought back by the new talent that has been brought to Lincoln, and the first tournament appearance this century two years ago.
Nebraska does not need to make the tournament this year, but they do need to take a step forward. There is hope in Lincoln.
Apathy is the death a program, but hope is the death of apathy.
Until our hope is rewarded, we wait.