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REPORT: Illinois, Northwestern to host double-header at United Center on December 17

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The Illini are set to host the BYU Cougars in Chicago

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Fighting Illini basketball plays a game at the United Center each season over Winter break, but the 2016 edition of the showcase will reportedly feature a new wrinkle. According to CBS Sports' Jon Rothstein, Illinois and Northwestern will be hosting a double-header at the venue; the Illini will take on BYU, while the Wildcats will square off against Dayton. The order of the games is unknown at this point.

The Chicago Tribune's Teddy Greenstein originally reported this development way back in December of 2015, and it appears this is very close to becoming a reality if it hasn't already.

BYU should be a nice early season test for the Fighting Illini. In 2015-16, the Cougars finished at No. 53 in the KenPom rankings after compiling an overall record of 26-11. While they failed to make the NCAA Tournament, BYU still managed to defeat UAB, Virginia Tech, and Creighton to advance to the NIT semi-finals. Seniors Kyle Collinsworth and Chase Fischer are two notable departures, but I believe BYU is expected to return a majority of their other top contributors (not sure if any mission trips will impact the look of that roster).

In addition to the United Center game, Illinois will also be participating in the 2016 NIT Season Tip-Off along with West Virginia, Florida State, and Temple; those games will be played at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.