After five days off, Northwestern returns to action in Brooklyn, New York, taking on the No. 23 Texas Longhorns (3-0) in the opener of the championship rounds of the Legends Classic.
The Wildcats are coming off a brutal heartbreaking loss to Butler, 70-68, on the road. Led by Vic Law and Bryant McIntosh, the Wildcats went back-and-forth with the Bulldogs throughout but a Kamar Baldwin step-back with 0.4 seconds left ultimately doomed the visitors.
Chris Collins’s bunch won’t find it any easier against Texas, which is led by Shaka Smart. Smart, as you may remember, made his mark on the college hoops world by implementing a full-court press at his first head coaching job, Virginia Commonwealth University. The Rams used their aggressive defense (dubbed “HAVOC”) and up-tempo style to run all the way to the Final Four in 2011. Smart is now in his second year at Texas, and the Longhorns are viewed as a team that Smart can lead on another March run despite being very youthful. Of the Longhorns’ six leading scorers, five are freshmen or sophomores.
Northwestern had trouble turning the ball over against Butler and will need to be better in that area against an aggressive Texas defense.
Here’s how to watch:
Game time: 8:30 p.m. CT
TV Channel: Longhorn Network (if available)
Online stream: ESPN3
Mobile: Watch ESPN
Radio: 1160 WYLL
Betting line: Texas -2.5