Rutgers Vs. North Carolina: A Measuring Stick For Scarlet Knights' Basketball?

Double G SportsCorrespondent IDecember 28, 2010

NEW YORK - MARCH 09: James Beatty #10 and Jonathan Mitchell #24 of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights react after a play against the Cincinnati Bearcats during the first round game of the Big East Basketball Tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 9, 2010 in New York, New York.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

First year head coach Mike Rice has already seen tremendous improvement to his Rutgers University Men’s Basketball team. By taking the job, he took on a slim roster, one destinted for a rough season. So far this season however, the Scarlet Knights have shown promise and potential.

Tonight’s final non-conference matchup will be a big test to see where this team stands. After tonight’s matchup against North Carolina, Rutgers will begin it’s Big East schedule.

Rice has said the Big East Conference schedule is the final exam for this team. If that’s the case, tonights game could be called the mid-term exam or even an exam review.

Rutgers enters tonight's matchup with a 9-2 record after reeling off six straight victories. UNC is 8-4 on the season, one already full of ups and downs. North Carolina, led by coach Roy Williams, were ranked as high as No. 8 this season before hitting a rough patch. They have since regrouped and have won four of their last five.

Tonight’s game tips off at 9pm at Madison Square Garden in New York City. ESPN2 will broadcast the game live to a national audience.

The Scarlet Knights will be looking to knock off their second ACC opponent this season, Miami was the first. Rutgers used tough, hard-nosed defense to keep the Hurricanes off balance and off the scoreboard. Rice and company will look to do the same to the Tar Heels. It will however be a much harder task.

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