Jim Hu at SB Nation’s Texas A&M;site Good Bull Hunting summarized how the Nebraska Cornhuskers made the Sweet 16 by defying both of our predictions prior to the game: playing man-to-man defense and knocking down threes.
In the two rounds at Reed, Nebraska shot 53.8% and 42.1% from beyond the arc, on 13 and 19 attempts. The long-range bombing attack repeatedly opened the lane for layups and putbacks as the Aggie defenders ran out too late at their assigned shooters. The Huskers reprised their 18/23 vs 1/1 advantage vs Chattanooga at the charity stripe by going 14/15 on free throws. The Ags were 1/2, with an astonishing zero free throw attempts for any of our front court players. It may be tempting to ascribe this to a combination of President Obama picking the Huskers and the refs being as unsatisfied as Rand Paul about the administration’s policy on domestic drone strikes. But in fact much of the disparity came from the D described above denying the entry passes to the posts, combined with the Ags getting anxious and taking shots early in the shot clock. But then again, 3 fta in two days?!
As Hu described, the hot shooting was due to a number of defensive lapses from the Aggies. Defensively, Nebraska contained Kelsey Bone by defending her differently than she has seen previously.