The Wildcats continue their five-game home stand Monday as the University of Illinois at Chicago Flames come to Welsh-Ryan Arena. This is Northwestern's fourth straight game at home, and the team will be looking to build upon its win over Western Michigan. Northwestern will look to improve to 3-1 on the home stand, with the lone loss coming to Central Michigan. UIC comes into the game with a 3-9 record. The Flames are on a two-game losing streak, most recently falling at SMU on Dec. 17.
Northwestern's victory over Western Michigan was an important one. The team had looked good against Mississippi Valley State, then fell flat against Central Michigan, before rebounding against Western Michigan. As with most young teams, Northwestern struggles to execute consistently game-to-game, and the Wildcats will be playing their fourth game in nine days. Avoiding sloppy play will be key for the hosts, even if they are the clear favorite.
Here's how to watch and follow:
Time: 1 p.m. CT
Radio: WGN, 720 in Chicagoland
Online: ESPN3 (TV subscription required)
Line: Northwestern opened as a 13-point favorite, and is now an 11-point favorite.
Kenpom: Northwestern sits at 155th in Kenpom rankings, while UIC is 309th. The website gives the Wildcats an 88% chance of winning, with the score being 67-57.
Key Stat: UIC does two things well: they take care of the ball (46th in the nation in turnover percentage) and make their free throws at a 76.4% clip, good for 14th in the nation. If the Wildcats can play sound defense though, they should be fine.
Check back here shortly before the game begins for the gamethread to follow along with the action.