Preseason magazines like Nebraska basketball’s chances to make NCAA tournament

Preseason magazines like Nebraska basketball’s chances to make NCAA tournament
Nebraska’s James Palmer received some love from preseason basketball publications that are out in advance of the upcoming basketball season. (ELSIE STORMBERG/THE WORLD-HERALD)

LINCOLN — We’re a week away from Big Ten media day in Chicago, where Nebraska is expected to be one of the main storylines after a 13-5 finish in the conference a year ago.

Tim Miles and the Huskers enter 2018-19 with a good amount of hype and excitement, especially with the return of James Palmer, Isaac Copeland, Glynn Watson and Isaiah Roby.

So before the Big Ten predictions begin rolling in and the preseason AP Top 25 is released, here’s a look at what some of the top preseason magazines are expecting out of the Huskers this year.


Nebraska clocks in as the No. 34 team. The magazine predicts Nebraska will finish fifth in the Big Ten and make the NCAA tournament with an at-large bid. It will join Indiana, Michigan, Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin in the dance.

In the top 150 players in college basketball, Lindy’s lists two Huskers: Copeland comes in first at No. 123, followed by Palmer at No. 129.

“His return strengthened the Huskers’ NCAA tourney aspirations,” the magazine said of Palmer.

No Huskers, however, made any all-conference teams for Lindy’s.

Street & Smith’s

Street & Smith’s puts Miles on the hot seat, but thinks Nebraska will deliver this year.

“The sorry state of the bottom half of the Big Ten wasn’t Miles’ fault, but it did mean the Cornhuskers’ 13-5 league record didn’t help it,” the magazine wrote. “A one year extension through 2021 means Miles is facing some pressure this year.”

The Huskers aren’t in the magazine’s top 25, but are predicted to finish third in the Big Ten behind Michigan State and Michigan and in front of Wisconsin. Again, no all-conference honors for any Huskers, but Nebraska is in the top 40 teams in the country and predicted to make the NCAA tournament.

This magazine also has Jervay Green, Nebraska’s 2019 point guard commit, finishing the season on the third-team All-America list for junior college players. He currently attends Western Nebraska Community College.

Athlon Sports

Nebraska will make it to the tournament, and it will win when it gets there. That’s according to Athlon Sports, the magazine that’s on the Husker hype train.

Athlon ranks Nebraska No. 25 in its preseason poll and predicts NU will finish third in the Big Ten behind Michigan State and Michigan. Nebraska will be one of five Big Ten teams in the tournament, with Michigan State, Michigan, Indiana and Purdue.

Palmer comes in as the No. 35 player in the country, too.

“A breakout transfer last season from Miami, Palmer is a terrific wing athlete with great length who can score,” the magazine said.

It does, however, put Miles on the hot seat, too. He’s one of 13 coaches with that honor at the front of the publication.

Athlon actually predicts the entire NCAA tournament. The Huskers are the seventh seed in the Midwest Region. In the bracket, NU beats No. 10 Notre Dame, then falls to No. 2 Virginia.

The most likely tournament site for those games would be in Columbus, Ohio. Nationwide Arena, if you’re looking for tickets.

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