pinnacle arena

Seating details for Nebraska’s Pinnacle Arena revealed in media tour

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Nebraska hasn’t exactly been a powerhouse in college basketball, making only six trips to the NCAA Tournament in school history — the last time in 1998 — but with the help of the new Pinnacle Arena, those fortunes could change thanks to a significant boost in homecourt advantage.

While Nebraska’s fan base — known as the “Sea of Red” — has gained notoriety for their extreme devotion to Cornhusker football, the same mass-scale feverish support is not often in place for their men’s basketball program.

Nebraska has done a great job selling out tickets for Pinnacle Arena’s inaugural season in 2013-14, but now the “Sea of Red” will have the distinct advantage of being right on top of the floor, as a new media tour of Pinnacle Arena revealed.

The $179 million arena, with a seating capacity of about 15,500, sits on the northwest side of downtown Lincoln looking like a big silver space saucer just a few blocks west of Memorial Stadium.

Nebraska already has sold every ticket for the 2013-14 men’s basketball season, and a media tour revealed a steep seating configuration that could make for an intimidating home-court advantage.

“It’s right on top of the court, so it’ll be a great building for basketball,” said John Hinshaw, project manager for Minneapolis-based M.A. Mortenson Co.

The steep seating configuration is sure to make Nebraska home games louder and more intimidating and could become one of the better homecourt environments in the Big Ten given the sold out schedule and the reputation of Nebraska fans.

Also in place will be a new video board that will rival that of many NBA arenas, according to Hinshaw.

Hinshaw said the Panasonic high-definition center-hung scoreboard will be one of the finest in college sports and better than in most in NBA arenas. The four-sided scoreboard is 16 1/2 feet tall and 22 feet wide and is topped by another full video board that is 6 feet tall and 22 feet wide.

Mortenson Co., the company building Pinnacle Arena, previously built the Sprint Center in Kansas City and the Target Center — home of the Minnesota Timberwolves — among other stadiums in other sports.

Iowa State’s starting center Jameel McKay remains suspended

Iowa State forward Jameel McKay celebrates on the court at the end of an NCAA college basketball game against Oklahoma, Monday, Jan. 18, 2016, in Ames, Iowa. Iowa State won 82-77. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
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Steve Prohm announced on Monday that starting center Jameel McKay will not be in the lineup on Wednesday when the Cyclones take on Texas Tech.

“He’ll practice today because I want him in practice,” Prohm said, “but game-wise, he’s suspended.”

McKay did not make the trip to Stillwater with the team on Saturday, where Iowa State beat Oklahoma State, 64-59. Prohm has not gotten into specifics regarding the cause of McKay’s suspension, but it’s reportedly an issue with the way he has been practicing. McKay is dealing with a nagging knee injury, which may play a role in the situation as well.

“My hope is he’ll be with us on Saturday,” Prohm said.

AP POLL: Villanova climbs to No. 1 in the country.

Jay Wright
(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
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Like the Coaches Poll, Villanova found themselves No. 1 in the AP Poll during the regular season for the first time in the history of the program.

And like the Coaches Poll, there isn’t much in the way of a consensus when it comes to who is the No. 1 team, as there are six teams that received No. 1 votes in the poll this week.

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The biggest shock to me?

The No. 1 team in the NBC Sports Top 25, Iowa, received just 11 first place votes and is ranked fourth in the AP Poll.

They were ranked fifth in the Coaches Poll.

Can we get Fran McCaffery the love they deserve?

Here is the rest of the AP Poll:

1. Villanova (20-3, 32 first-place votes)
2. Maryland (21-3, 13)
3. Oklahoma (19-3, 7)
4. Iowa (19-4, 11)
5. Xavier (21-2)
6. Kansas (19-4, 1)
7. Virginia (19-4, 1)
8. Michigan State (20-4)
9. North Carolina (19-4)
10. West Virginia (19-4)
11. Oregon (18-4)
12. Miami (FL) (18-4)
13. Louisville (19-4)
14. Iowa State (17-6)
15. Texas A&M (18-5)
16. SMU (20-2)
17. Arizona (19-5)
18. Purdue (19-5)
19. Dayton (19-3)
20. Providence (18-6)
21. Baylor (17-6)
22. Kentucky (17-6)
23. USC (18-5)
24. Texas (16-7)
25. Wichita State (17-6)

DROPPED OUT: No. 22 Indiana, No. 25 South Carolina
NEW ADDITIONS: No. 23 USC, No. 24 Texas