Northwestern Faces Stern Test On The Road Against North Carolina
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Northwestern Faces Stern Test On The Road Against North Carolina

After wins over Fairfield, Columbia and UMass-Lowell, Northwestern will have their biggest test the young season against a good UNC team.

Vijay Vemu

In all of Northwestern wins, it was a tale of two halves for each game. In their first game against UMass-Lowell, the Wildcats struggled offensively in the first half but a strong second half helped them pull away. It was the complete opposite against Fairfield however as Northwestern had to hold off a late rally from the Stags to hold on for the win. Their game against Columbia was a repeat of the first game as the Wildcats staged a late comeback to force overtime and they took over in the extra period to make it to 3-0. It wasn't pretty but wins are wins. 

Their next opponent will be their toughest as they take on the UNC Tarheels. Coming into the season ranked #1, the Tarheels cruised through their first three games as they blew out opponents and showed that they were the best team in the country. But that went away in their last game as UNC was stunned by Northern Iowa 71-67 in Cedar Falls. The Tar Heels blew a big lead and allowed UNI to come back and steal the game. It was a humbling loss for the Tar Heels as they most likely will lose their number one spot but have to rebound quickly as they face some top teams in the next few games. After Northwestern, UNC will face off against Maryland and Texas in two of the next three games and can't let the loss linger. With head coach Roy Williams, that won't happen and North Carolina is still the favored team in this game 

Sadly, the Tarheels are still without their star Marcus Paige, who is recovering from a fracture in his right hand. That spells good news for the Wildcats, who have gotten great guard play from Bryant McIntosh and Tre Demps. McIntosh, who had 32 points in their OT win against Columbia, will look to take advantage of the absence of Paige. 

But the main key on offense will be freshman Aaron Falzon. Falzon has had a great start to his Northwestern career as he had shown an ability to hit from deep (44% shooting) and efficiently (50% from the field). If Northwestern want to knock off UNC, they will need a big game from Falzon as well. 

This game will be the semi-final in the CBE Hall of Fame Classic in the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri. The four teams in the Classic are Northwestern, UNC, Missouri, and Kansas State

This will be a tough test for Northwestern. Outside of UNC, Missouri and Kansas State are all quality opponents the Wildcats could potentially face. This can also serve as a potential piece of hardware the Wildcats could take home before conference play starts.