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Embracing Expectations: 4 Thoughts On An Embarrassing 72-51 Rutgers Loss to Nebraska

NCAA Basketball: Rutgers at Nebraska Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

That was not good.

Four Thoughts

Didn’t Show Up: Let’s put it clearly: in a game that would wrap up their NCAA Tournament appearance in a bow, the Scarlet Knights didn’t show up. They didn’t bring the effort. They didn’t play defense and they let the Nebraska Cornhuskers run and score all over them. I warned everyone about this in my last four thoughts. Nebraska wasn’t going to be a pushover. Despite their record, they can score.

Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy: Rutgers couldn’t take care of the ball. They had 13 turnovers. Nebraska had their hands on every ball and in every passing lane. They were outrebounding the Scarlet Knights. Everything that makes Rutgers good: their grit, their organization and their rebounding just wasn’t there tonight. As a fan, I’m furious. Yes, it’s hard to win a Big Ten game, but this was a chance to ice things for the post-season and they couldn’t.

Efficiency Stats are going to plummet: Probably not a good idea to look at KenPom or the NET this week. Rutgers is going to take a tumble. It’s one thing to lose to Nebraska, it’s another thing to get blown out. The Scarlet Knights couldn’t keep it close and spend most of the second half down more than twenty points. Rutgers wasn’t good in anything. Couldn’t hold on to the ball. Didn’t move around on offense. Didn’t pass. The offense was an awful standstill. And it’s going to hurt them in the rankings.

All is not lost: Losing this game on its own isn’t going to kill Rutgers. They can still get into the NCAA Tournament, but they can’t lose out. Rutgers has two more shots at one more win. They have to beat Minnesota and/or win the first round Big Ten Tournament game. It’s never ever easy, and we are all going to be sweating on Saturday afternoon. And Jaden Jones made his first three-albeit in garbage time. Mawot Mag looked like he had some potential too.

Gah, I’m so aggravated.