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Mad Chatter: Is Jim Harbaugh crossing his Commish?; Huskers exposed without Shields; an NFL QB debate

It's Friday! That means Ten Big stories in 10 little bites. We'll cover Kris Dunn and Steph Curry, Under Armour vs. Nike, Husker hoops and NFL QBs. But first, a battle of Jims.

We’re all used to the Michigan Man creating enemies. And it’s actually kinda fun, especially when those enemies hail from the Big Bad SEC. Harbaugh’s latest attempt to push the envelope? During Michigan’s spring break, he’s taking spring practice to the IMG Academy in Florida. 

SEC folks don’t like it, of course, because the last thing they want is Jim Harbaugh invading their footprint in March. But th...

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NU hoops: Shields progressing; but not expected to play Saturday

Senior Shavon Shields was at the NU basketball facility Thursday and he's made some progress, according to coach Tim Miles. But Shields hasn't yet been cleared to resume physical activity.

Shields suffered a concussion and was diagnosed with a neck strain after that scary fall against Rutgers Saturday, according to Miles. Shields didn't travel with the team when it played at Wisconsin Wednesday. But his health is improving.

On Thursday, Shields conducted the baseline cognitive tests as part of Nebraska's concussion protocol. He attended the Huskers' practice.

But Shield...

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Recruiting: Nebraska extended more than a dozen new offers this week

Mike Riley vowed to get off to a fast start in the new recruiting cycle, and the Huskers seem to be doing just that.

Nebraska handed out 14 new scholarship offers this week, including a dozen to players from the 2017 class. The list includes mostly wide receivers and tight ends, but the Huskers did also offer a pair of defensive backs, a running back, a linebacker and an offensive tackle.

Three of the new offers came from within the 500-mile radius, while five came from California.

Here are brief breakdowns on each new target added to the Huskers' big board, and be sure...

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Mike Riley has long list of defensive line candidates, but who's near the top?

In an interview with 590 AM The Drive on Thursday, Nebraska coach Mike Riley said he's personally handling the hiring of Nebraska's new defensive line coach, and he has a list of about 50 coaches' names on it. 

That's a lot of candidates to potentially replace Hank Hughes, who will not return next season after one year as the NU defensive line coach. 

Riley said Nebraska wants to hire a candidate quickly, but also must perform due diligence.

“It’s a hard decision to make a change, and then it’s a hard decision to make sure you get the right personnel in place,” Riley sa...

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NCAA approves proposal that would further change how targeting rule is enforced

More changes could be coming to the way college football officials enforce the targeting rule.

The NCAA Football Rules Committee wrapped up a four-day meeting Thursday and released an overview of approved proposals aimed to "enhance student-athlete safety." The controversial targeting penalty was a major focus of that release.

The committee voted to expand the authority of the replay official when it comes to targeting penalties. The rule would require the official to review all aspects of the targeting call. The official will also be able to stop the game and create a target...

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TBL: Jon Nyatawa talks Nebraska football, basketball and more

World-Herald staff writer Jon Nyatawa joined host Mike'l Severe on "The Bottom Line" on Thursday.

Topics discussed include next season's concerns for the Huskers on defense, the coaching search for Nebraska's next defensive line coach, plus Nebraska basketball losing to Wisconsin and more.

Listen to TBL live from 2 to 6 p.m. weekdays, plus like the show on Facebook and follow it on Twitter.

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TBL: Kenny Wilhite, new Director of High School Relations for Nebraska

Kenny Wilhite, new Director of High School Relations for Nebraska, joined Mike'l Severe and Jon Nyatawa on "The Bottom Line" Thursday.

Topics discussed include what the new title entails, the importance of keeping a good relationship with high school coaches and being visible and more.

Listen to TBL live from 2 to 6 p.m. weekdays, plus like the show on Facebook and follow it on Twitter.

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Collins, Valentine, Lewis and Janovich headed for NFL Combine

Nebraska will have four former players at the NFL Combine. The official invitation list was posted Thursday on the NFL's web site.

Defensive tackles Maliek Collins and Vincent Valentine will go after declaring for the NFL Draft after their junior seasons. Both are training at the EXOS facility in Phoenix.

There they've been seen posting some impressive squatting numbers.

Also set to be in Indianapolis later this month are former NU offensive tackle Alex Lewis and fullback Andy Janovich, both seniors this past season. Lewis played his final two seasons at Nebraska after ...

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Women's basketball: IPFW at UNO

When: 7 p.m. Thursday

Where: Baxter Arena

Radio: 1180 AM

IPFW (5-18, 1-9)

G Courtney Ogle, 6-0, Sr., 4.5

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TBL: Dirk Chatelain talks Creighton, Nebraska basketball and more

World-Herald staff writer Dirk Chatelain joined hosts Mike'l Severe and Joe Ganz on "The Bottom Line" Wednesday.

Topics discussed include Maurice Watson's huge night against Xavier, what the rest of the season looks like for Creighton and getting into the tournament, Nebraska playing without Shavon Shields and more.

Listen to TBL live from 2 to 6 p.m. weekdays, plus like the show on Facebook and follow it on Twitter.

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TBL: Creighton guard Maurice Watson talks about the Xavier win and more

Creighton point guard Maurice Watson joined hosts Mike'l Severe and Joe Ganz on "The Bottom Line" Wednesday.

Topics discussed include his monster night against Xavier, the Big East, the remainder of the Jays' season and more.

Listen to TBL live from 2 to 6 p.m. weekdays, plus like the show on Facebook and follow it on Twitter.

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Husker staff shuffles roles, names new director of high school football relations

LINCOLN — Nebraska football's new director of high school relations will be Kenny Wilhite, the former Husker defensive back who worked last season as NU's assistant director of player personnel.

Wilhite, who grabbed All-Big Eight honors in 1991 as a cornerback, was one of the few administrators held over in the coaching transition between Bo Pelini and Mike Riley. He replaces Chris Brasfield, who took an associate athletic director job within the department that focuses on recruitment and student-athlete experience across all Husker sports.

Brasfield was hired last year by Ri...

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Big Ten baseball coaches leave Nebraska out of preseason top six

LINCOLN — Nebraska baseball did not land a spot in the top six of the Big Ten preseason rankings, as voted on by the conference coaches and released Wednesday.

Michigan was tabbed as the 2016 favorite. Maryland was No. 2, followed by Indiana, Iowa, 2014 champ Illinois and Michigan State. The league reveals only the six highest vote getters. 

The conference coaches have picked the Huskers to finish second before each of the last three seasons — which they ended up doing in 2013 and 2014. Last year NU finished eighth with a 9-14 league record, losing both of its league tourname...

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Creighton held Xavier to the worst 3-point shooting night of the 2015-16 season

There were a lot of storylines in Creighton's 70-56 win over No. 5 Xavier on Tuesday night. It was the Jays fourth all-time win over a top-five team, and the first since 2014. It was a career night for Maurice Watson. And CU did it while shooting 40.7 percent from the field, including a 7-for-30 — 23.3 percent — from long range.

So how did the Jays — who have been shooting 47.1 percent from the floor and 35.8 percent from beyond the arc this season — upset the fifth-ranked team in the nation on a sub-par shooting night?

By making the other team shoot worse.

Xavier poste...

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Mad Chatter: Why Omaha feels so close to college basketball's epicenter; Creighton's bracketology; the day Tom Osborne beat Tony Dungy

Before we blast Scottie Pippen and reminisce on Tony Dungy's first meeting with Tom Osborne, I want to know:

Do you feel the connections? Have you noticed how many college basketball teams feel semi-local these days?

Neither Creighton nor Nebraska is having a banner season, but I find myself unusually familiar with college hoops’ best teams. It's crazy. 

Check out the coaches poll: 

1. Villanova — Creighton played them twice (not successfully).

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UNO's Kyler Erickson honored by NABC, will travel to Final Four

Kyler Erickson, diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder months after witnessing a school shooting while a senior at Millard South, has shared his story with students from approximately 20 schools.

UNO’s senior guard has also assisted in apartment setup for refugees, helped at an orphanage in Mexico and volunteered for a number of charitable organizations in his hometown while playing for the Mavs.

Tuesday, Erickson was one of five Division I players named to the 2016 Allstate NABC Good Works Team, joining Shavon Shields of Nebraska and three others. They were selected f...

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Recruiting: Nebraska's next top quarterback target?

Nebraska may have more than just one top quarterback target for the 2017 class. 

The Huskers have shown considerable interest in Calabasas (Calif.) quarterback Tristan Gebbia, but Husker Online reported Tuesday night that Sayville (N.Y.) High School quarterback Jack Coan will be making an unofficial visit to Nebraska for the spring game. 

A four-star quarterback according to 247sports, Coan plays on Long Island — not a football hotbed in the least — and was the subject of a lengthy profile in Sports Illustrated. Like 2016 recruit JD Spielman, Coan is a top lacrosse player and...

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Storm Chasers host Royals' World Series trophy at Omaha Hy-Vee

The Royals’ World Series trophy found a temporary home in the Hy-Vee at 9707 Q St. on Tuesday. Fans got a chance to see the trophy up close, but only after Curt Nelson, director of the Royals Hall of Fame, placed it on a pedestal fit for such a prize.

See video from the event, plus a photo showcase.

Hy-Vee was well-prepared for the event.

Ready at @ApplewoodHyVee for a visit from the #Ro...

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TBL: Adam Carriker gives his thoughts on the Huskers, NFL and more

Former Husker Adam Carriker joined Mike'l Severe on "The Bottom Line" Tuesday to discuss the Super Bowl, Peyton Manning retiring, the Huskers' search for a defensive line coach and more.

Listen to TBL live from 2 to 6 p.m. weekdays, plus like the show on Facebook and follow it on Twitter.

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Pick Six Podcast: Husker recruiting, the 500-mile radius, the next D-line coach, hoops programs, Super Bowl 50

World-Herald staff writers Jon Nyatawa and Sam McKewon tackle the hottest topics in sports, offering their in-depth analysis of the latest headlines.

In the Feb. 9 episode of "The Pick Six Podcast," the guys discuss ways to improve Husker recruiting, the 500-mile radius, replacing NU's D-line coach, Nebraska and Creighton hoops, next year's prospects for the state's basketball programs, Super Bowl 50 and more.

Check out the video podcast below in three segments. Scroll down for the audio-only version.

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Four-star recruit Mitchell Ballock picks Creighton

Creighton picked up a highly ranked recruit on Sunday night.

Mitchell Ballock, a four-star shooting guard from Eudora, Kan., committed to Creighton. He made the announcement on Twitter.

"I realized it was the best situation for me," Ballock told Rivals.com. "I like their style of play. I enjoyed the experience and all of the people are great people.

"Also, everything that coach and I talked about made me decide (Creighton) was the best decision for me."

The 6-foot-4 junior grew up less than 20 minutes from Kansas and turned down an offer from the Jayhawks to pick ...

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Shavon Shields released from hospital after being carted off on stretcher during Rutgers game

Husker forward Shavon Shields was injured while attempting to block a shot during Nebraska's 87-63 win over Rutgers on Saturday, with the senior being knocked unconscious and eventually carried off the floor on a stretcher.

Shields — while jumping to swat a shot — had his feet taken out from under him before hitting the floor hard. He was not immediately moving following the injury, and remained on the floor for a total of nine minutes. It was later revealed that the Husker was knocked out after his upper body slammed into the floor on the play. After regaining consciousness, Shiel...

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Women's basketball: Creighton at Xavier

When: 1 p.m. Sunday

Where: Cintas Center, Cincinnati

CREIGHTON (12-11, 6-5)

F Audrey Faber, 6-2, Fr., 13.8

F Bailey Norby, 6-2, So., 4.3

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Women's basketball: South Dakota at UNO

When: 2 p.m. Sunday

Where: Baxter Arena

Radio: 1180 AM KZOT

SOUTH DAKOTA (18-5, 9-1)

G Tia Hemiller, 5-8, Sr., 11.4

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