Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Nebraska Will Have A New Arena

Nebraska voters have approved a new 16,000 seat basketball arena that will be scheduled to open for the 2013-14 season. Athletic Director Tom Osborne has already pointed out that there will no longer be excuses for the program not winning, a program that has zero NCAA Tournament victories (they are 0-6 overall, with their last appearance coming in 1998), and hasn't even won a share of a conference title since 1950 when they finished in a three-way tie for the Big Seven regular season title.

A few random thoughts about that last conference title: I had forgotten that the Big Eight (what the Big 12 was called before 1997) had previously been the Big Seven, and before that was the Big Six. They kept counting, which is more than we can say for the Big Ten (currently with 11 teams) or the Atlantic Ten (currently with 14). Also, I'm not even sure how proud a team should be of a three-way conference title in a seven team conference (all three teams tied with an 8-4 record that season). For the last 60 seasons to have been less successful than that is a testament to how poor Nebraska basketball has been.

It's interesting that this is all happening as there are so many rumors about a major re-alignment, with Nebraska one of the teams named as a potential addition to the Big Ten. This could help bolster Nebraska's case, with the promise of more basketball success to go with a great football history. At the very least this decreases the possibility of Nebraska getting left out in the cold if other conferences start picking apart the Big 12.

In the short term it's unlikely this arena will have much of an impact on Nebraska basketball. But it could mean a lot long term.

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