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Flames get paired with Northern Iowa

QUALITY BRACKET BUSTER GAME

February 5, 2008

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UIC coach Jimmy Collins shakes hands with Bradley players after a Flames’ win on Nov. 10. Collins is hoping for a victory against another Missouri Valley team in Northern Iowa at the Feb. 23 BracketBuster.

The pairings for the 50 BracketBuster games were announced Monday afternoon and UIC was assigned a quality foe from the Missouri Valley Conference.

The Flames will travel to Cedar Falls, Iowa for game with Northern Iowa on Saturday, Feb. 23.

The Panthers stand at 14-8 overall and 6-5 in the MVC. They were rated at No. 99 at realtimerpi.com when the announcement was made. UIC is 12-10 overall and 6-5 in the Horizon League and was No. 149 in the RPI.

Six-foot-six senior forward Eric Coleman leads Northern Iowa in scoring and rebounding, putting up 12.2 points and 8.6 rebounds per game.

This will be UIC’s sixth appearance in the BracketBusters. The Flames are 4-1 in the previous five games.

The game is not a part of the ESPN TV package for the event. Five other Horizon League schools will appear on TV. Those games are: Drake at Butler, Marist at Cleveland State, Miami (Ohio) at Valparaiso and Wright State at Illinois State.

It appears that UIC probably barely missed an opportunity to be in a showcase TV game.

The following three games will be the ones that will be remembered:

Charlotte 64, UIC 63 (Nov. 17): The Flames led the 49ers with just over a minute to go, but Leemire Goldwire hit a stepback three-pointer with 12 seconds left in game at the Paradise Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands. This would have been a good win against a team from the Atlantic-10, which has a chance to send three teams to the NCAA tournament this season.

Wright State 76, UIC 75 (Jan. 17): Vaughn Duggins and Todd Brown hit key baskets in the final minute as the Raiders handed the Flames their only home defeat of the season to date. UIC led by nine in the first half before WSU took control. The Flames fought back for a one-point lead with just over a minute to go, but they couldn’t get a key defensive stop at the end.

Valparaiso 60, UIC 56 (Jan. 24): This could have been the most painful of three as the Flames burned away a 10-point first-half lead on the road. Valpo’s Jarryd Loyd hit a half-court shot at the end of the first half and then UIC missed 19 of its first 20 shots in the second half and went scoreless for over seven minutes as the Crusaders crept back into the game.

In other recent news:
Another efficient game for Mayo (vs. YSU) (2/3/08)
Inside-out combo lifts Flames (vs. CSU) (2/1/08)
Freshman boosts Bulldogs past Flames (at Butler) (1/27/08)
UIC lets road win slip away at Valpo (Stewart retruns) (1/25/08)
Mayo, Flames three-mendous (Valpo preview) (1/24/08)
Balance helps Flames bounce back (vs. Detroit) (1/20/08)
Perfect home record suffers Brown-out (vs. Wright State) (1/18/08)
Finding success halfway around the world (A. Williams, Bowen, Dailey) (1/16/08)
White, Mayo help Flames secure double-OT win (vs. Loyola) (1/13/08)
With Ramblers on horizon, Flames making tweaks (plus Stewart update) (1/11/08)