Published Friday, February 15, 2013 at 8:12 pm / Updated at 9:06 pm
Game with MSU could be last chance for a big Devaney upset
Nebraska (12-13, 3-9)
F Brandon Ubel, 6-10, Sr., 11.6
F Shavon Shields, 6-6, Fr., 7.3
F David Rivers, 6-7, So., 6.0
G Dylan Talley, 6-5, Sr., 13.3
G Ray Gallegos, 6-2, Jr., 13.0

Michigan State (21-4, 10-2)
C Derrick Nix, 6-9, Sr., 9.4
F Adreian Payne, 6-10, Jr., 9.3
G Branden Dawson, 6-6, So., 10.8
G Gary Harris, 6-4, Fr., 12.9
G Keith Appling, 6-1, Jr., 14.0

>> Tyronn Lue, this season’s Nebraska Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, will be honored at halftime.
>> Brandon Ubel played Wednesday night at Indiana with strep throat, but said he was much improved Friday. He needs one rebound to reach 500 for his career.
>> Michigan State scores 49 percent of its points in the paint.

LINCOLN — It was more a matter of belief than a bold prediction Friday from Nebraska's Brandon Ubel.

The senior forward matter-of-factly stated that before season's end, the Huskers (12-13, 3-9) will knock off a ranked opponent.

“We're going to get one,'' Ubel said. “We've been playing well. We thought we had Ohio State. We got the win against Penn State.

“We've been talking that there is something about the Devaney and a ranked team coming in here that we're going to get one and get on a roll.''

Nebraska may be down to its last chance for such a victory in the 37-year-old Devaney Center, which will be converted to a volleyball arena.

Eighth-ranked Michigan State on Saturday night is one of three remaining home games. The other two foes — Iowa and Minnesota — aren't likely to be in the Top 25.

Ubel has been on the Devaney Center floor before for big upsets: against No. 3 Texas, No. 13 Texas A&M and No. 22 Missouri.

But picking off Michigan State (21-4, 10-2), the co-leader in the Big Ten, is a tall task.

The Spartans are coming off a 75-52 dismantling of No. 3 Michigan, and have won 10 of their past 11 games. They are headed to a 16th straight NCAA tournament under coach Tom Izzo.

“Michigan State has always been a team that as the season goes on gets better and better,'' Ubel said. “For whatever reason, Coach Izzo gets them playing better in February than in January, and better in March than in February.

“I don't expect them to be down from their level of play against Michigan.''

On Jan. 13, Nebraska lost at Michigan State 66-56. NU was tied with MSU at halftime, held a one-point lead with 13 minutes to go and was within one point entering the final two minutes.

Ubel didn't play in that game because of a fractured elbow, but he helped coach from the bench.

“We were really focused, really determined and played extremely hard,'' he said. “We were a little mismatched down low most of the game, but that didn't really stop us from trying to slow down what they were trying to do.''

Husker forward David Rivers, making his first career start that night, had 18 points and six rebounds. The Spartans got a combined 31 points from big men Derrick Nix and Adreian Payne.

“We were able to limit their possessions and not give them anything easy,'' Ubel said. “We've got to replicate that here at home.”

Contact the writer:


Contact the writer: Lee Barfknecht    |   402-444-1024    |  

Lee Barfknecht has won nine national writing awards from four separate organizations, and is a 12-time winner of the Nebraska sportswriter of the year award. He covers Big Ten football and basketball, Nebraska basketball and other college financial issues for The World-Herald.



< >
2013 college football preview
View our 2013 college football preview, a 26-page, three-part section filled with coverage of the Huskers, Big Ten conference and more.
Big Red Bowl Retrospective
See complete historical results, game recaps and photo coverage from the Nebraska Cornhuskers college football bowl game appearances, from the 1941 Rose Bowl up to today.
Big Ten football recruits
The World-Herald's Big Ten recruiting database contains every football recruit that signed with a Big Ten school from 2002 to 2011, complete with color-coded interactive map representations, player information, high-concentrations recruiting clusters and more.
Devaney Center timeline
Check out a World-Herald timeline to see the evolution of memorable moments at the Devaney Center, complete with photos, videos, memorable quotes and more.
Follow OWHbigred on Twitter
Looking for the latest Husker sports news from The Omaha World-Herald and Follow us on Twitter!
Husker scholarship distribution chart
Want to see how many scholarships NU has invested at each position? Wondering how the Huskers have appropriated their offers by class? Check out our handy chart to look further into how Bo Pelini has built his team.
Husker Signing Day 2013
The World-Herald's top-notch coverage of the Nebraska football's class of 2013, complete with videos, photos, articles, live recruit interviews, interactive components and more.
Husker turnovers: A slippery slope
Bo Pelini has coached 68 games at Nebraska. When NUís turnover margin is positive or even, the Huskers are 35-2. When they lose the turnover battle, theyíre 13-18. Why hasnít Nebraska joined the nationís elite? More than anything, itís turnovers.
Interactive: Bo Pelini's contract
View an interactive PDF of Pelini's revised contract signed by the NU football coach, complete with brief summaries of the legalese and insight into the document's finer points.
Interactive: Darin Erstad's contract (2012)
View an interactive PDF of NU baseball coach Darin Erstad's contract released in August 2012, complete with brief summaries of the legalese and insight into the document's finer points.
Interactive: Tim Miles' contract
View an interactive PDF of Tim Miles' contract signed by the Nebraska men's basketball coach on May 4, 2012, complete with brief legal explanations, comparisons to other Big Ten coaches and more.'s Big Ten coverage
Delivering the best news coverage and analysis of the Big Ten Conference, from and other top news outlets from around country.
Husker Recruiting: Changes shrink NU's sphere of influence
For decades, the Great Plains represented fertile recruiting ground for Tom Osborne's football program. Restoring that lost tradition won't be easy.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
Dr. Welbes Natural Health Clinic
$129 for 2 LipoLaser Sessions with Additional Complimentary Services ($605 value)
Buy Now
< >