Toppers’ test tonight

rob herbst“Must-win games” might be the most over-used cliche in sports, but if Western Kentucky doesn’t want to rely on a Sun Belt Conference championship to get into the NCAA Tournament, tonight’s Nebraska game might just be a “must-win game.”

After Saturday’s head-scratching loss at Northern Arizona, a two-game losing streak against very beatable teams would equate to one big blotch on WKU’s resume. And make no mistake, while Nebraska is a Big 12 foe in a bigger, better conference, it’s very beatable – especially at E.A. Diddle Arena.

Games like this are ones WKU should expect to win if getting an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament isn’t a hopeless pipe dream. Nebraska finished 6-10 in the Big 12 last season – it’s not like Kansas or Texas are coming to Bowling Green tonight.

Lose to a mediocre to sub-par Big 12 team at home and – barring wins over Tennessee and Southern Illinois later this month – and WKU would have little legitimate basis to gripe if it weren’t to get an at-large bid.

Win tonight, or else start planning for three critical games in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament.

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