Northwestern basketball (3-0) heads into its toughest test of the year, facing the preseason No. 1 North Carolina Tar Heels (3-1) in the CBE Hall of Fame Classic semifinals at the Sprint Center in Kansas City Monday night.
Northwestern has started the season with three wins, the latest an 83-80 victory over Columbia at Welsh-Ryan Arena that required a late comeback from the hosts just to get to the extra period.
North Carolina, without star point guard Marcus Paige, lost its most recent game, a 71-67 defeat at the hands of Northern Iowa. The Tar Heels blew a 16-point second-half lead in the loss in Cedar Rapids, and hence will drop from their No. 1 spot. Paige's status is up in the air, as he warmed up against Northern Iowa despite already having been ruled out, but he is unlikely to play. His original return timetable did not project him to be ready for this game. Paige visited a doctor last week and told Jeff Johnson of The Gazette that he'd miss his team's next three games, including Monday's.
Here's how to watch Monday's showdown:
Game Time: 8:30 p.m. CT
Mobile: WatchESPN App
Radio: Sirius XM ESPN Xtra (Channel 81), 720 AM WGN
Betting Line: North Carolina -10.5
KenPom Projection: North Carolina 81 percent