Teams picked to finish near the bottom of their respective conferences will have a chance to give their league some bragging rights when Nebraska hosts Boston College in an ACC/Big Ten Challenge contest on Wednesday night in Lincoln, Neb.
Nebraska (4-3) is coming off a seventh-place finish at the ESPN Events Invitational, beating Florida State 75-58 on Sunday. It was the Cornhuskers’ third-largest margin of victory against a power-conference opponent under fourth-year coach Fred Hoiberg.
“It was a huge win,” Hoiberg said afterward. “We had to have it.”
Derrick Walker, who missed Nebraska’s first five games this season, had a career-high 20 points and 13 rebounds in the win. He had 15 points and 12 rebounds against Memphis in his return to action.
Boston College (5-2) has won its last two, most recently a 53-49 home victory over Rhode Island. The Eagles shot just 30.4 percent in that game, which saw them again missing several players expected to be part of the rotation due to illness or injury.
Those absences contributed to earlier losses against Maine and Tarleton State, but head coach Earl Grant is keeping things positive by noting how the experience gained by other players can only benefit Boston College down the road.
“I think the growth of those players, because of what we’re dealing with, is actually going to help us in January, February, March,” Grant said.
Sophomore guard Jaeden Zackery is coming off back-to-back 16-point games, while sophomore forward Devin McGlockton has scored 23 points over the last two contests after registering 18 points in the first five.
Boston College is 7-6 all-time in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, which began in 1999, while Nebraska is 5-6. Neither team has won a Challenge game since 2018, and Nebraska has the lone head-to-head victory with a 71-62 home triumph in 2017.