CHICAGO, Ill. — It’s always better to give than to receive.
On Monday night, the UIC Flames proved that to be true in their CBI quarter-final match-up with the visiting George Washington Colonials. Despite possessing a sub-.500 record after the regular season, the Flames looked good in their post-season opener against the Stony Brook Seawolves, and they were looking to build off the positive momentum.
It was a record night for the Flames as a whole, and for freshman guard Tarkus Ferguson. As a team, UIC tied the CBI single-game mark with 24 assists, and Ferguson tied the individual single-game mark, dishing out 12 dimes of his own.
Every year, teams see their dreams of making the NCAA Tournament come true, while others accept bids into other post-season tournaments.
Last season, 68 teams made the NCAA Tournament, 32 made the NIT, 16 made the College Basketball Invitational, 32 made the CollegeInsider.Com Tournament, and 8 teams took part in the inaugural Vegas 16 tournament. If the math is correct, that leaves 195 teams without a spot in post-season play.
Some teams aren’t even eligible for post-season play due to off-court issues, whether it’s due to low APR scorers or self-imposed bans.
That’s where we come in. We don’t discriminate, and even teams who aren’t eligible in the real world are welcome in our eyes. Living up to the Canadian stereotype of always being nice, we have included all 351 teams into one hypothetical post-season tournament.
CHICAGO, Ill. — On Wednesday night, the UIC Flames upset heralded Chicago-based basketball program DePaul.
Less than 24 hours later, the Flames discovered their win came at a cost.
Per a press release, Dikembe Dixson, the team’s leading scorer and 2015-16 Horizon League Freshman of the Year, has a torn ACL and will undergo season-ending surgery. He suffered the injury in the first half versus the Blue Demons.
Sunday’s college basketball slate was quieter than the past couple of days, with only 27 games on tap for the day. However, there were still some big games that could provide teams with a much-needed momentum boost as the season ticks along.
One of those games took place in Chicago, where the Eastern Illinois Panthers took on the UIC Flames.
Both teams came into Sunday with identical 4-3 records on the year, and were looking to push their records further above the .500 mark. The Panthers were coming off a loss to the Bradley Braves, and were looking to get back on the right track, while the Flames were looking to extend their winning streak to a modest two games.
It was back-and-forth early on, and the Flames jumped out to an early 5-2 lead. From there, it was a seesaw game, as both squads traded leads on several occasions.
With 6:42 to play in the opening half, Casey Teson hit a three pointer to give the Panthers a 21-18 lead.
They wouldn’t relinquish the lead the rest of the way.
The talent level of basketball players coming out of Canada over the past few years has been impressive, and there are no signs of that slowing down any time soon.
Several of the top recruits in the Class of 2017 are from the Great White North. Guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker (#29 in ESPN’s Top 100) has committed to the Virginia Tech Hokies, guard Lindell Wigginton (#49) has committed to the Iowa State Cyclones, and forward Christian David (#83) has committed to the Butler Bulldogs.
While the future is bright, the present is also just as bright for the game of basketball in Canada.
The 2016-17 season isn’t even two weeks old yet, but there are several Canadians who have looked impressive in the NCAA. Some are in their first years in Division I, while others are experienced leaders on championship contenders.