"Right before the game, Coach told me, 'We need you, '" Azubuike said.
In Lincoln, 15,207 packed Pinnacle Bank Arena to watch the men's basketball team take on No. 13 Kansas in a heated nonconference battle.
Nebraska fell to 7-5 overall with the loss and suffered its first home defeat of the season. Just before the announcement of starting lineups, new Nebraska football coach Scott Frost entered the court through a mist-filled tunnel, sparking a loud reaction from the home crowd.
While Kansas seemingly had to come-from-behind late, the Jayhawks led for much of the contest. "That hurts. That's what hurts".
The Huskers were able to weather the early storm and eventually tied it back up at 30-30 on a layup by freshman guard Thomas Allen with four minutes left in the half. The NCAA's field goal percentage leader made 13 of his 17 attempts.
Nebraska: The Huskers lost three times during their toughest four-game stretch of the season, but this is an improving team that could surprise in the Big Ten. "That was the best game Doke has played since he's been here. As soon as I blocked it, I had to go and get it". Instead, KU left the Huskers with only the moral victory of playing a good team close but falling short in the end.
"I got the rebound and I tried to go back up, but I was off-balance", said Palmer, who thought he was bumped on the play. "Things didn't go my way".
Palmer, who had 14 points and eight rebounds, said he felt contact after he got the rebound.
Sophomore Udoka Azubuike led all scorers with a career-high 26 points, while senior Devonte' Graham added 18 points. Graham chipped in 18 points and eight assists. Nebraska hosts Delaware State two days after UTSA, and plays Stetson on December 29.
"I thought Nebraska played great", Self said. Don't let this game beat us twice. "We've got to come to work Monday ready to roll'". And Palmer's slashing drive to the rim with 41 seconds left made it 72-70.
"It gets the other team standing around", Palmer said. The senior guard was in double figures before the second media timeout with his 11 points as the Jayhawks held the 21-15 advantage just before the midway point of the opening half. "We trust our guys".
Allen wasn't going to admit it, but this game had to have meant a little more to the former four-star top-100 recruit who ended up choosing Nebraska over Kansas last spring.
Kansas didn't panic and seized back the momentum moments later when Mykhailiuk hit his first 3-pointer of the game to kick-start a 9-2 KU run that gave the Jayhawks a 66-59 lead.
"They'd run that (screen-and-fade) in other games, but they hadn't run it tonight", Miles said. "I was so proud of him". Allen said he wasn't trying to show KU anything Saturday. "That was great to see the ball go in the basket for him".
"Svi's been struggling and hasn't been himself for about two weeks now", Self said. "A game-winning block". "They're fun to coach".
Nebraska came back down the floor and got Gill open for a 3-pointer in the corner with about seven seconds left.