What’s next for Keisei Tominaga, Nebraska? Cornhuskers’ projected March Madness seed after Big Ten Tournament loss

Keisei Tominaga and Nebraska’s pursuit of a Big Ten Tournament championship was cut short by Illinois on Saturday.

Tominaga and the Cornhuskers were looking to make history. Nebraska men’s basketball only has one conference tournament championship, winning the then-Big 8 (now Big 12) back in 1994. It has been in the Big Ten since 2011-12 and this season was just its third finish with a winning record in conference play.

The Cornhuskers had serious momentum after routing Indiana by 27 points Friday. Tominaga’s scorching hot hand paced their victory, erupting for 23 points and five assists on 9-of-13 shooting from the field with four 3-pointers.

Unfortunately, his hot streak cooled overnight. How did Nebraska lose to Illinois and what’s next for Tominaga and the Cornhuskers? The Sporting News breaks it all down below.

MORE: Download a free 2024 NCAA Tournament bracket PDF

Keisei Tominaga, Nebraska fall to Illinois in Big Ten Tournament

Nebraska was in complete control in its Big Ten semifinal matchup against Illinois but the energy shifted in a blink. The Cornhuskers led by 11 points at halftime even without a major contribution from Tominaga.

Tominaga couldn’t get going early on, heading into the half with just five points on 2-of-8 shooting from the field and 1-of-6 shooting from 3. Nebraska still held a lead and it felt like it would run away with the contest if Tominaga found a rhythm.

For a talented shot-maker like Tominaga, it was only a matter of time. He started to heat up in the second half, scoring a team-high 13 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the field.

MORE: Keisei Tominaga NBA Draft scouting report

Illinois completely flipped the script, though. Even with Tominaga’s resurgence, Nebraska had no answer for Fighting Illini senior guard Terrence Shannon Jr.

Shannon completely took over the game, pouring in 22 points in the second half. The Cornhuskers couldn’t contain him on the perimeter as he constantly put pressure on the rim. Shannon finished with a career-high 40 points, also setting a record for the most points by a player in a Big Ten Tournament game.

Luckily for Tominaga and Nebraska, their March Madness bid was not dependent on a Big Ten Tournament championship.

What seed will Nebraska get in March Madness?

Nebraska put together its first 20-win season in head coach Fred Hoiberg’s five-year tenure at the helm.

Finishing 23-10 overall with four Quad 1 wins, five Quad 2 wins and a perfect record against Quad 3 and 4 teams, the Cornhuskers are a lock to make their first NCAA Tournament appearance in a decade.

Following their loss to Illinois, The Sporting News’ Bill Bender projects Nebraska to land a No. 8 seed in March Madness. That means the Cornhuskers are set for an evenly fought matchup against a No. 9 seed.

According to Bender’s projections, Nebraska’s Round of 64 opponent could be Dayton, Texas, Colorado State or Mississippi State.

Tune into Selection Sunday on March 17th to find out Tominaga and the Cornhuskers’ seed, matchup and bracket.

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