The Nebraska basketball team is reeling after a start to the season that had almost guaranteed them a chance to head to the NCAA Tournament. There were even some people who thought the team had the kind of talent that would allow them to go on a deep run. The Huskers had the basketball world right where they wanted it and then they went on a seven-game losing streak that looked like it was just going to be a bump in the road when they got beat by Michigan State.

Things got quite a bit worse after that loss. The Cornhuskers have been counted out for a while now, as far as the fans go. There are also plenty of experts who have turned away from Tim Miles' team.

On the flipside, there are some who still believe Nebraska has a shot to make the tournament, but it's going to take a bit of work.

Nebraska basketball on the brink but needing to do some work

As Christopher Heady from the Omaha World-Herald pointed out, the resume for the 2018-19 Huskers is actually better than the 2013-14 team that made the Big Dance as an at-large team. That team, the only one that made the tournament under Tim Miles had a final KenPom rating of 50, Jeff Sagarin had them at 59 and they were 53rd in the RPI.

This year, despite a long losing streak that seemed to have ended the squad's chances of getting to the NCAA Tournament, they are still rated 33rd in both KenPom and Sagarin.

They are also 38th in the new NET rankings that have replaced the RPI officially.

All of those numbers are surprising if you think they are the only ones that will be taken into account when it's time to get to the tournament. The team, by the eye test, doesn't really belong in the NCAA Tournament. If you go by the systems that are supposed to be determining who goes to the postseason and who doesn't, the Cornhuskers are in.

Now it's just a matter of actually getting them in.

Some convincing might be needed

As several brackets get released by the experts, it's clear the Huskers are not quite the shoo-in the rating systems would have you believe. Joel Lunardi's Bracketology doesn't have the Cornhuskers anywhere near the field.

That's after he was one of those who was slow to jump off the bandwagon even as Tim Miles' squad started to go very south.

On the flipside, CBS Sports' resident Bracketologist still has the Nebraska basketball team very much in the running. Palm has the Huskers as one of the teams as the "first four out." That means if the team can go on a heck of a winning streak, it appears there is going to be a chance. That work will need to start this week when they take on the Penn State Nittany Lions.

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