Cory Jefferson scored 16 points and No. 6 seed Baylor kept 11th-seeded Nebraska winless in its NCAA tournament history with a 74-60 second-round victory Friday.
The Bears (25-11) kept up a two-month tear and will play either No. 3 seed Creighton or No. 14 seed Louisiana-Lafayette on Sunday. Baylor has won 11 of 13 after a dismal start in the Big 12, recapturing the kind of momentum that vaulted the Bears to the Elite Eight in 2010 and 2012.
Terran Petteway scored 18 points for Nebraska (19-13), which fell to 0-7 in tournament history.
The Cornhuskers hadn’t played on this stage since 1998 and often looked like it. Frustration boiled over for Big Ten coach of the year Tim Miles, who was ejected with 11 minutes left.
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The officials tossed Miles after ringing him up for a second technical foul in nearly as many minutes. He first erupted after Petteway, the Big Ten’s leading scorer, picked up his fourth foul just after Nebraska cut the lead to single digits.
Two minutes later, Miles charged toward the scorer’s table, appearing to try to alert officials to the shot clock. Another whistle.
Gone. And not long afterward, so was Nebraska in this tournament.
As Miles walked toward the tunnel, he drew a standing ovation from a Texas crowd splashed with a healthy swath of Big Red. It was a big day for the state of Nebraska at the AT&T Center: Creighton’s game was next up, and fans shed red shirts at the buzzer to reveal Bluejay blue underneath.
Isaiah Austin scored 13 points and Brady Heslip added 12 points for Baylor. The Bears didn’t outshoot the Cornhuskers but got to the free throw line three times as often – they made 38 of 48, compared to 10 of 16 for Nebraska.
Shavon Shields scored 16 points and Ray Gallegos had 15 for the Cornhuskers.
That Baylor and Nebraska are even here was a doubtful scenario just two months ago. Both teams nosedived toward February with a combined 2-11 record in conference play, with the Cornhuskers fulfilling historically low expectations and the Bears bottoming out after being ranked high as No 7 in the nation.
Their turnarounds were almost simultaneous.
Refusing to settle for a fourth losing season in five years, Nebraska won 10 of its last 13 and seized an unlikely status as one of the biggest surprises in the country. Baylor, meanwhile, won 10 of its final 12 during a hot streak that included a dominating march to the Big 12 tournament final.