Incarnate Word beats Nebraska, is an actual Division I team that you should know about
Incarnate Word went into Lincoln and beat the Nebraska Cornhuskers, 74-73, getting the go-ahead bucket with two seconds to go on this incredible fadeaway jumper by Kyle Hittle:
Most will focus on the Big Ten’s recent ugly stretch of play against unknowns. Michigan lost to NJIT. Michigan lost to Eastern Michigan. Nebraska lost to Incarnate Word. And these are supposed to top teams in America’s best conference? What is this?
Let’s focus on that some other time. For now, let’s focus on the very happy Incarnate Word Cardinals.
Incarnate Word is a Catholic school in San Antonio. Their most notable basketball accomplishment before the last few days was that David Robinson earned a master’s degree in administration in 2011. (He’d used up his basketball eligibility by that point.) Last season was the Cardinals’ first in Division I. They’re currently technically in “transition,” so even if they were good enough, they wouldn’t be allowed to go to the NCAA Tournament this year.
Despite that, they’ve clearly shown they belong at the DI level. This year, they’ve played three games against DI teams, all on the road. One was the Nebraska win. The two others were a loss to UTEP and a win against Princeton. Last year, they went 9-5 in Southland play. They’re playing teams that have been established in Division I play — and they’re beating them more often than they’re losing. That’s rare, and incredible. They’re also 16-0 against non-Division I opponents, in case you worried their wins against top-level teams were flukes. Impressive job by coach Ken Burmeister.
So live large, Incarnate Word. We look forward to seeing you in the NCAA tournament… someday.