Big 12 Basketball

Nebraska Hoops: Cornhuskers Upset Top-Ranked Texas Longhorns in Dramatic Fashion

LAWRENCE, KS - JANUARY 15:  Head coach Doc Sadler of the Nebraska Cornhuskers instructs Toney McCray #0 during the game against the Kansas Jayhawks on January 15, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kansas.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Kraig LundbergAnalyst IIIFebruary 20, 2011

If you can't beat 'em in football, well, heck, just beat 'em in basketball.

Nebraska fans finally got their revenge against the hated Texas Longhorns with a monumental 70-67 shocker in Lincoln. 

The win was easily the biggest of coach Doc Sadler's career, trumping an earlier upset this season over then-11th ranked Texas A&M, and thrusting the 18-8 (6-6) Huskers onto the NCAA tournament bubble.

Officially ranked No. 2, the Longhorns rode into Lincoln with an 11-0 conference record, widely considered the top team in the nation after No. 1 Kansas dropped a road game against Kansas State days before.  Had the rankings been revised mid-week, the 'Horns likely would've held the official No. 1 rank.

The Huskers overcame 18 points a piece from guards Jordan Hamilton and J'Covan Brown, and a wild late-game rally from the frantic 'Horns.

Leading 64-53 with just 1:51 left, Nebraska allowed Texas to storm back and tie the game at 65 in just over half a minute.  Fortunately, behind some clutch free throws from guards Brandon Richardson (he missed two during that last Texas run) and Drake Beranek, the Huskers held on.

After Brown missed a deep three as time expired, Richardson triumphantly heaved the ball into the air, and a hysterical student section stormed the court with hurricane forces, burying the team in red bodies.

Widely known for their stifling defense, Nebraska had a fabulous day offensively, hitting shots as often as they missed, and cutting through the equally stout Longhorns defense for layups and hook shots.

Centers Jorge Brian Diaz and Andre Almeida abused Texas for a combined 21 points on 10-of-17 shooting.  Forward Toney McCray scored 14 points and pulled down six rebounds and Richardson added 15 hard earned points.

Back up guard Eshaunte Jones, one of Nebraska's best shooters, hit three huge three-pointers on four attempts, igniting a thunderous crowd in Lincoln.

While the win gave the Huskers a huge boost towards making their first tournament in over 10 years, the team still has important tilts at home against Kansas State and Missouri, and road battles against Iowa State and Colorado.

If the Huskers can win just two of those four games, a 20-10 (8-8) record might be enough to squeeze Nebraska into March Madness.

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