Nebraska likely doesn't have any illusions about competing for a Big Ten championship this season, but it has played like a title contender at home. The Cornhuskers, who host Illinois on Wednesday, snapped a 12-game road skid on Saturday against Northwestern for their fourth victory in their last six contests. Three of the wins in that span have come at home, where they are 10-1 and will play three of their next four games against the bottom three teams in the conference.

On the same day Nebraska stopped its long road slide, the Fighting Illini ended their eight-game losing streak with a 60-55 win over Penn State to pull into a last-place tie with the Nittany Lions. The victory snapped the team's longest losing streak in 40 years and was Illinois' first on the road in league action in eight tries. The Illini swept the season series against the Cornhuskers last season but enter this contest 10th in the conference in scoring (62.6 points), 11th in 3-point percentage (28.1) and last in field-goal percentage (37.5) during Big Ten play.

TV: 9 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network

ABOUT ILLINOIS (13-10, 2-8 Big Ten): All five freshmen on the roster played at least 10 minutes Saturday, highlighted by the promotion of Kendrick Nunn and Malcolm Hill to the starting lineup. Nunn (19 points) and Hill (11) each had career-high performances, although coach John Groce lauded their contributions on the defensive end, where the Illini held the Nittany Lions to three points over the final 9 1/2 minutes of the contest. "It was time to give (Nunn and Hill) a shot in the arm that would give us a shot in the arm and blend our team," Groce told reporters following the contest.

ABOUT NEBRASKA (12-10, 4-6): Six of the Cornhuskers' 10 losses have come against opponents ranked in the USA Today Coaches' Poll, but six of their remaining eight foes have losing conference records. "We've been through the most brutal part of our schedule and, at the end of the day, we're still probably going to have a top-20 schedule in the country," coach Tim Miles told the Lincoln Journal Star. Walter Pitchford - a 6-10 forward - scored a career-high 15 points against Northwestern and is 8-of-12 from beyond the arc in Nebraska's last three victories.


1. Cornhuskers G-F Terran Petteway (17.5 points) and Illinois G Rayvonte Rice are the Big Ten's top two scoring newcomers.

2. Rice is the only player in the conference leading his team in scoring, rebounding (six) and steals (1.3).

3. Nebraska, which is tied with Michigan for the best home winning percentage (.909) in the Big Ten this season, hasn't won four consecutive league home games since Jan. 13-Feb. 13, 1999.

PREDICTION: Nebraska 65, Illinois 58