No. 13 seed Nebraska (16-15, 6-14) vs. No. 12 seed Rutgers (14-16, 7-13)
Big Ten Tourney First Round, United Center, Chicago; Wednesday, 4:30 p.m. MT
BOTTOM LINE: Nebraska is set to square off against Rutgers in the first round of the Big Ten tourney. The only meeting between the teams this season came on Jan. 21, when the Scarlet Knights shot 44.3 percent from the field while holding Nebraska to just 41.7 percent en route to a seven-point victory.
VARYING EXPERIENCE: Nebraska has relied on senior leadership while Rutgers has been fueled heavily by freshmen this year. For the Cornhuskers, seniors James Palmer Jr., Glynn Watson Jr. and Tanner Borchardt have collectively scored 49 percent of the team’s points this season, including 63 percent of all Cornhuskers points over their last five. On the other bench, freshmen Eugene Omoruyi, Montez Mathis, Ron Harper Jr. and Myles Johnson have combined to account for 49 percent of all Rutgers scoring this season, including 55 percent of the team’s points over its last five games.
JUMPING FOR JAMES: Palmer has connected on 31.5 percent of the 181 3-pointers he’s attempted and has gone 7 for 22 over the last three games. He’s also made 77.3 percent of his free throws this season.
PASSING FOR POINTS: The Scarlet Knights have recently converted buckets via assists more often than the Cornhuskers. Rutgers has 43 assists on 78 field goals (55.1 percent) across its past three matchups while Nebraska has assists on 35 of 84 field goals (41.7 percent) during its past three games.
DID YOU KNOW: The Nebraska offense has recorded a turnover on only 14.5 percent of its possessions, which is the 10th-lowest rate in the nation. The Rutgers defense has forced opposing teams to turn the ball over on just 17.8 percent of all possessions (ranked 251st among Division I teams).