UIC Basketball to Face Illinois, Northwestern and Loyola in 2013-14|
May 22, 2013
CHICAGO - The 2013-14 UIC men's basketball non-conference season will feature a return match-up against Northwestern at the UIC Pavilion, a renewed rivalry with Illinois at the United Center, and the first-of four-straight annual meetings versus Loyola, with the first installment taking place at Gentile Arena on the north side.
"We're excited to announce these three games that will be some of the highlighted match-ups during our non-conference season," said head coach Howard Moore. "It's great for college basketball in the city of Chicago and the state of Illinois to have these teams competing against each other as regularly as possible."
Northwestern will visit the Pavilion on Wednesday, Nov. 20, for a 7:00 p.m. scheduled tipoff. The Flames defeated the Wildcats at Welsh-Ryan Arena last season (12/1/12), UIC's fourth-straight win over Northwestern, dating back to the 2002-03 season.
After a long-standing Horizon League rivalry, UIC and Loyola will continue their cross-town series in non-conference play after the Ramblers announced their intention to join the Missouri Valley Conference. The Flames will open the four-year, home-and-away series at Gentile Arena on Saturday, Dec. 7. UIC owns a 31-19 all-time series advantage versus Loyola.
"I thought it was very important for our program to maintain the annual series with Loyola," Moore said. "I've been on both sides of the rivalry, and there have been some great games over the years. It makes sense from a scheduling standpoint, and I know our fans will also be excited to keep the rivalry going."
On Saturday, Dec. 28, UIC will face Illinois at the United Center on the Windy City's west side. The Flames upset the 12th-ranked Illini (57-54) at the UC during the 2010-11 campaign (12/18/10), UIC's first season under the tutelage of Moore. It represented the Flames' biggest win over a ranked opponent in the program's history, and was the first time UIC defeated Illinois since the 1990-91 campaign.
UIC, which enjoyed the nation's 12th-largest turnaround last season, is scheduled to return nine letterwinners to the program next season, including a pair of starters in Hayden Humes and Marc Brown. The Flames will also welcome Purdue transfer Kelsey Barlow to the mix, along with a trio of incoming freshmen in guard Markese McGuire (Elkhart, Ind./Memorial) and wings Lance Whitaker (South Elgin, Ill./Barlett) and Pat Birt (Plano, Texas/Plano East).