Most of the University of Nebraska's athletic programs have seen large amounts of continued success, but men's basketball has been an exception, accomplishing little of note since the establishment of the NCAA Tournament in 1939. Nebraska has not won a conference championship since sharing the Big Seven title with Kansas and Kansas State in 1950, and has not won the conference outright since going a perfect 12–0 in the Missouri Valley in 1916. Nebraska's lengthiest period of sustained success came in the first years of the sport's existence. The retroactive Premo-Porretta Power Poll ranked the Cornhuskers no. 8 nationally in 1897, no. 15 in 1898, no. 3 in 1899, no. 2 in 1900, no. 19 in 1903, no. 18 in 1904, no. 19 in 1905, and no. 16 in 1906.
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