Bates-Diop is helped by the team's ball-handler, junior guard C.J. Jackson, who averages 13.3 points and 4.6 assists-per-game. The Cornhuskers are now 14-7 overall, 5-3 in the Big Ten and 13-6 against the spread.
Nebraska begins its busiest week of the season Monday night, as the Huskers travel to Columbus, Ohio, to take on the No. 22 Ohio State Buckeyes.
The game was part of what the Big Ten has called "Super Saturday", where two league men's basketball teams play at noon followed by a men's hockey game at night. Given that he's now the frontrunner to win the Big Ten Player of the Year, Bates-Diop's name needs to be right at the top of Nebraska's priority list tonight and circled with red ink. Ohio State, meanwhile, did a fantastic job of making free throws (14-20; 70.0 percent). Nebraska was dominant at both ends of the with the Wolverines held to 37.5% shooting while countering at 55.3% marksmanship.
A 38-31 halftime lead grew as high as 21 points against a exhausted Minnesota team playing its third road game in six days. Three other Huskers joined him in double figures.
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The Nebraska Cornhuskers have a top four position in the Big Ten on their radar as the team shoots for their third straight win after upending the Michigan Wolverines 72-52 as a five point home dog. That includes 28.8 percent from 3-point range. That may be where the difference in this game lies since Nebraska has allowed 74+ in three of their four conference games.
Nebraska is 5-4 ATS on the road with 6 unders and 3 overs.
The Cornhuskers' average margin of victory in their last five games has been 2.2, down from 4.0 for the season. Nebraska will be locked in as well, with tournament aspirations on the line as OSU may be the last ranked opponent the Huskers play this season. Bates-Diop averages nearly 20 points-per-game and has scored 16 or more points in all but two of the team's games. Nebraska needs to make Ohio State settle for lower-percentage shots and then capitalize when it gets opportunities for layups and dunks.