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Flames' schedule nears completion

(9/9/03)

While Flames fans await the official unveiling of the 2003-04 schedule, a couple more announcements were made Tuesday.

UIC will have an opportunity to double its pleasure against Evansvilleóone of just seven teams that beat the Flames last year. The Flames will travel to Evansville Nov. 21 before hosting the Purple Aces in the home opener on Nov. 25 in a rare single-season home-and-home non-conference series.

ESPNís Bracket Buster II announcement was also made official. UIC is among five Horizon League teams to be granted a home game. The Flames defeated Bowling Green on ESPN2 last year in a game that likely improved UICís NIT chances.

Possible foes for this yearís Buster, which is scheduled for Feb. 21, include postseason teams Creighton, Western Michigan, and Western Kentucky. ESPN college basketball analyst and former college head coach Fran Fraschilla had good things to say about the event, and about the Flames in an ESPN.com article.

ďIím tickled to see this kind of event,Ē Fran Fraschilla said. ďAs I looked at the field, itís obvious the Gonzagas, Butlers and Western Kentuckys jump out at you. But teams like Akron or Illinois-Chicago, and other teams down the list, are ready to have breakout seasons.Ē

The match-ups and TV outlets will be determined during the first week of February. Meanwhile, the BCA Classic pairings should be announced within the next couple of weeks.

In other recent news:
Iowa Hawkeye Challenge pairings announced (8/19/03)
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)