Two longtime men’s basketball rivals will get back together for a trio of worthy causes, as Nebraska will host Colorado this fall to raise money for the trio of non-profit charities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The charity exhibition game will take place at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln on Sunday, Oct. 31, at Noon (central). The game will be included in 2021-22 season-ticket packages, while single-game tickets for the matchup, if available, will be announced at a later date.
It will mark the first meeting between the programs since March 5, 2011, which was both schools’ final regular-season Big 12 game before the Huskers moved to the Big Ten Conference and the Buffaloes went to the Pac-12 Conference.
Proceeds from the contest will go to three local organizations: the TeamMates mentoring program; the YWCA of Lincoln for its Employ402 program and the Nebraska Greats Foundation.
“Over the past year, we have sought out ways for our program to make a positive impact in the community, and this charity game against Colorado allows us to directly help those in Lincoln who have been directly affected by COVID-19,” Nebraska Coach Fred Hoiberg said. “We appreciate Coach Boyle and his team for coming to Lincoln. I think it will be a matchup our fans will be excited to see and allows both team a chance to gain valuable experience prior to the start of the regular season.”
“We are excited to bring the Buffs to Lincoln and compete against a familiar foe from our days in both the Big 12 and Big Eight,” said Colorado Coach Tad Boyle. “Coach Hoiberg has his program poised for future success and will be a great test for our young team. More importantly, we are honored to help raise money for various Lincoln charities who have been negatively affected by the recent pandemic. We look forward to the Cornhuskers returning the favor to the Boulder community next year.”
The mission of the TeamMates Mentoring Program is to impact the world by inspiring youth to reach their full potential through mentoring. The program, which was started by Dr. Tom and Nancy Osborne in 1991, now serves more than 170 school districts across five states.
The YWCA’s Employ402 Program is a job readiness program created to address barriers and provide resources for community members seeking mobility, stability, and ingenuity surrounding employment. The Keys Series explores the topics of financial literacy, overcoming barriers, and strengths development.
The mission of the Nebraska Greats Foundation is to provide medical and financial assistance to in-need former athletes from Nebraska’s 16 four-year Colleges and Universities. The organization was started by Jerry Murtaugh in 2014 is a member of the Nonprofit Association of the Midlands.
Nebraska returns four starters (Trey McGowens, Dalano Banton, Lat Mayen and Derrick Walker) and five of its top six scorers from last season, although Banton declared for the NBA Draft and will have until early July to either return to school or stay in the draft. The Huskers also add a five-member recruiting class which is ranked as a high as 13th nationally by ESPN and features five-star recruit Bryce McGowens, Wilhelm Breidenbach, a top-100 recruit, and junior college All-American Keisei Tominaga. NU also adds a pair of former top-100 recruits in transfers CJ Wilcher and Keon Edwards.
Colorado looks to duplicate the success of the 2020-21 campaign where the Buffaloes went 23-9 and reached the second round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament. Tad Boyle begins his 12th season at the school, and the Buffaloes have won 20-or-more games each of the past three seasons. The Buffs are led by returning honorable-mention All-Pac 12 selection Even Battey, who averaged 10.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game and Eli Parquet, who started 31 games and was named to the Pac-12 all-defensive team. Colorado also welcomes a recruiting class which is ranked 11th nationally by 247Sports.
Nebraska holds a 77-71 edge in a series which dates back to the 1902-03 season. The teams shared the same conference from 1947-48 to 2010-11. Boyle and Hoiberg met three times in 2010-11, when Hoiberg was at Iowa State, with Colorado winning two of the three meetings.
The University of Nebraska continues to work with Pinnacle Bank Arena and the Lincoln Lancaster County Health Department and will follow all local COVID protocols.
In addition to Colorado, the Huskers will see another former Big 12 rival this season, as they will begin a three-game non-conference series with Kansas State with the first matchup on Sunday, Dec. 19, at Pinnacle Bank Arena. The series was scheduled to begin last season in Kansas City, but was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.