The 2017 CBS Sports Classic double-header kicks off Saturday afternoon with a matchup between No. 5 North Carolina and unranked Ohio State, who will face off at the Smoothie Center in New Orleans.
Tip is scheduled for about 1:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on CBS. If you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, you can watch the game on your phone, your computer or on another streaming device by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services. They cost a monthly fee but all come with a free trial, so you can watch today’s game at no cost:
CBS All Access: This service lets you watch a live stream of your local CBS channel (most markets included) for $5.99 per month. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial right here, and you can watch on your computer via the CBS website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the CBS app.
FuboTV: CBS (live in at least 20 markets) is included in the “Fubo Premier” channel package, which gives you access to 70-plus channels and costs $19.99 per month for the first two months and $39.99 per month after that. It also comes with a free 7-day trial, and you can watch on your computer via the Fubo website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the FuboTV app.
On the paper, the Heels are the clear favorite. With three significant contributors from last year’s national championship squad–Luke Maye, Joel Berry, Theo Pinson–still on the squad, Roy Williams’ team is 11th in Ken Pomeroy’s ratings, ranking 14th overall in offensive efficiency and 19th in defensive efficiency. Ohio State, meanwhile, is ranked just 45th, coming in 52nd in offense and 46th in defense.
Then again, North Carolina were big favorites on paper on Wednesday–25.5-point favorites, to be exact–when they took on Wofford at home, and that ended with a shocking 79-75 upset victory for the Terriers. This is college basketball, after all, and anything is possible.
“We’ve got to by God be ready to play and not act like we’re prima donnas, (that) we’ve got North Carolina (on their jersey) and we can walk out there and the other team is going to fold,” UNC coach Roy Williams said after his team’s second loss of the season. “That team outworked us.”
Conversely, the Buckeyes enter on a positive run of play. After a stretch in late November that saw them get throttled by Gonzaga and lose three out of four, they’ve won all five games in December, including a dominant win at Wisconsin and a victory against Michigan that was fueled by a 41-19 second half. The Buckeyes still lack consistency, but they’ve shown the ability to put together some really good stretches.
“I think people have sensed that this team right now has pretty good chemistry,” Buckeyes coach Chris Holtmann said. “We’re gonna go through — I keep going back to our 4-0 start, and then we got really humbled out in Portland in our first game by a team that’s flat out better. We’ll go through some difficult moments for sure but I have sensed that people have enjoyed watching this relatively new team forge an identity.”
The Heels should be plenty motivated after Wednesday’s loss, and they should still be regarded as the favorites, but this one may turn out to be a lot closer than many were expecting even a couple weeks ago.