UIC To Face Cleveland State In MCC Men's Hoops Tournament First Round Action

Feb. 26, 2000

The seventh-seeded UIC men's basketball team (10-19, 5-9 MCC) will square off against #2 seed Cleveland State (16-13, 9-5 MCC) in the first round of the 2000 Nokia/MCC Men's Basketball Tournament, which gets underway next Saturday, March 4, at the UIC Pavilion. The two teams will play at 5:30 p.m. (CST).

UIC, which will enter the tourney on its home court riding a four-game home-winning streak, dropped both contests to the Vikings during the regular season, falling at home in overtime, 91-89, on Jan. 8 and in Cleveland, 85-73, on Feb. 3. In post-season action, the Flames own an all-time record of 3-2 against the Vikes with the most recent meeting going to UIC, 64-42, in the semifinals of the 1997 MCC tourney.

Fourth-seeded UW-Green Bay will play fifth-seeded UW-Milwaukee in the first game on Saturday at 11:30 a.m., followed by top-seeded Butler against eighth-seeded Loyola at 2:00 p.m. In the evening session, the UIC/Cleveland State game played at 5:30 p.m. will be followed up by #3 Detroit against #6 Wright State at 8:00 p.m.

UIC owns an all-time record of 14-15 in post-season conference play, but has lost in its last three tournament appearances by a combined six points, including a 55-51 loss to Detroit last year. The Flames have reached the championship game four times with their most recent title-game appearance coming in 1997 when they fell to Butler by a single point, 69-68.

The semifinals of the Nokia/MCC Tournament will be played on Sunday, March 5, at 1:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. followed by the championship game, which will be played on Tuesday, March 7, at 6:30 p.m. (CST). The title game will be carried live on ESPN with an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament at stake.