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Hawkeye Challenge pairings announced

(8/20/03)

The UIC Flames and Iowa are on the opposite sides of the bracket at the University of Iowa Hawkeye Challenge, which features three postseason teams, to be played in Iowa City Dec. 5-6.

The Flames, who were 21-9 last season with a NIT berth, will renew their rivalry with Northern Illinois in a first-round game, which will be played at approximately 5:30 p.m. The host Hawkeyes will face Eastern Washington in the other game.

UIC crushed NIU 77-45 in DeKalb last December, but the Huskies rebounded nicely in Mid-American Conference play, finishing 17-14 and 11-7 in the MACís West Division.

The brackets set up a likely UIC-Iowa championship game on Saturday night. It would be the first meeting between the two schools.

Iowa was 17-14 overall and 7-9 in the Big Ten last year. The Hawkeyes were also in the NIT, slipping past Valparaiso and Iowa State before losing to Georgia Tech.

Eastern Washington was 18-13 overall and 9-5 in the Big Sky, good enough for second place. The Eagles fell to Wyoming in the first round of the NIT.

In other recent news:
ESPN's Katz praises UIC as Cinderella to watch (8/19/03)
Battle thinks highly of Collins, Flames (plus roster and schedule news) (8/09/03)
Flames to open season at BCA Classic (7/08/03)
Q&A: Flames head coach Jimmy Collins (6/30/03)
McGee's future in question; schedule news; Horizon apology (5/08/03)
Year-end banquet celebrates accomplishments and awards (5/06/03)