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Report: Nebraska to open Pinnacle Arena against Florida Gulf Coast

Florida Gulf Coast was one of the best stories of the 2013 NCAA tournament, becoming the first 15-seed to reach the Sweet 16 and earning the moniker “Dunk City” (thanks to Troy Machir) with their attractive style of play and penchant for above the rim finishes.

And next season the Eagles, under new head coach Joe Dooley, will be the visiting team in Nebraska’s first game at the new Pinnacle Arena in downtown Lincoln. With four starters returning from last year’s team, FGCU is more than capable of spoiling the debut for Tim Miles’ program.

Guards Brett Comer and Bernard Thompson return, as do forwards Chase Fieler and Eric McKnight, with guard Sherwood Brown being the lone starter lost from the Eagles’ Sweet 16 team.

While Nebraska has not officially confirmed the news, according to Brian Rosenthal of the Lincoln Journal-Star an announcement regarding the Huskers’ first game in their new arena is expected to come some time next month.

Overall, the 2013-14 home schedule sets up to be an attractive one for Nebraska.

Nebraska, which has sold out its first season at Pinnacle Bank Arena, will host at least five teams that made last year’s Sweet 16 – Florida Gulf Coast and Miami in the nonconference, and Michigan, Indiana and Ohio State in Big Ten Conference play.

Other Big Ten teams visiting Lincoln next season are Wisconsin, Minnesota, Purdue, Northwestern, Illinois and Penn State.

With their debut season sold out and key players such as Ray Gallegos and Shavon Shields returning, the hope amongst Husker fans is that next season Miles’ program can take a step towards being a consistently competitive team in the Big Ten.

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.