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CSN announces 2012-13 College Basketball Schedule

CSN announces 2012-13 College Basketball Schedule

COMCAST SPORTSNET ANNOUNCES 2012-13 COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCHEDULE

74 Mens and Womens Game Schedule includes MVC, Horizon League & SEC Conference Action, plus local contests featuring Illinois State, UIC, Loyola, Bradley, SIU, DePaul, Northwestern and more!

Battle of the Midway (taking place on the deck of the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier) featuring 9 Syracuse vs. 20 San Diego St. to lead off schedule on Friday, November 9 at 7:00 PM

CSNChicago.coms NCAA section to also provide the latest headlines for all area teams

Chicago, IL (November 6, 2012) Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and the most comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox, is ready to bring college hoops fans another exciting season of action-packed NCAA basketball featuring 58 mens & 16 womens contests.

Comcast SportsNet viewers can look forward to the very best in localregional basketball action with five games featuring the Horizon Leagues UIC Flames and five games featuring the Loyola Ramblers, along with Missouri Valley Conference action highlighted by Illinois State (seven games), 16 AP pre-season ranked Creighton (three games) Bradley (two games), Southern Illinois (four games) and Northern Iowa (three games) in action all season long, plus live coverage of the MVC Tournament in March. Additional local match-ups are highlighted by games featuring DePaul and Northwestern. From an online perspective, viewers are also urged to visit Comcast SportsNets website, CSNChicago.comNCAA, for the very latest NCAA basketball headlines and updates from all area teams throughout the season.

Comcast SportsNets mens collegiate basketball season tips off with LIVE coverage of the Battle on the Midway game on Sunday, November 11 at 3:00 PM. For the first-time ever, the deck of the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum in San Diego, CA will be the site of major college basketball match-up featuring two of the nations best teams: 9 AP pre-season ranked Syracuse vs. 20 AP pre-season ranked San Diego State. The announce team for this special telecast features veteran play-by-play announcer Dick Enberg, color analyst & former Bull Steve Kerr, along with sideline reporterhost Erin Andrews.

Among the key local match-ups on the schedule this season include UIC at Northwestern (Dec. 1 at 7:00 PM), Loyola at DePaul (Dec. 29 at 1:00 PM), Illinois St. at Bradley (Jan. 29 at 7:00 PM), SIU at Illinois St. (Feb. 2 at 3:00 PM) and UIC at Loyola (Feb. 16 at 1:00 PM). Note the attached schedule for a complete list of mens games this season on Comcast SportsNet.

Comcast SportsNets womens basketball season gets underway with a MVC battle on Friday, January 4 LIVE at 7:00 PM as Northern Iowa visits Illinois State. The Redbirds will be featured in five regular season games on CSN this season, plus the network will also carry live coverage of the MVC Tournament semifinals and championship match-ups (note the attached schedule for a complete listing of womens games this season).

Comcast SportsNet will once again provide college basketball fans with a pair of area team college coaches show this season (air dates may vary during the season) Tuesdays (beginning in December): Inside Notre Dame Basketball with Mike Brey (4:30 PM) and Tuesdays (beginning in January): Wildcat Fast Break with Bill Carmody (11:30 PM).

2012-13 MENS COLLEGE BASKETBALL on COMCAST SPORTSNET

1. Sun, Nov 11 3:00 pm 9 Syracuse vs. 20 San Diego State (from the USS Midway) Live
2. Thu, Nov 15 6:00 pm Illinois State @ Drexel Live
3. Sat, Nov 17 6:00 pm Bradley @ IUPUI Live
4. Sat, Dec 1 12:00 pm Illinois State @ Louisville Live
5. Sat, Dec 1 2:00 pm Furman @ Loyola Live
6. Sat, Dec 1 1:00 pm UIC @ Northwestern SDD 7:00 pm
7. Sat, Dec 8 3:00 pm Colorado State @ UIC Live
8. Sun, Dec 8 7:00 pm W. Michigan @ Illinois State Live
9. Sat, Dec 15 1:00 pm Eastern Michigan @ UIC Live
10. Sat, Dec 15 4:00 pm Iona @ Georgia Live
11. Wed, Dec 19 6:00 pm Illinois State @ Dayton Live
12. Sat, Dec 22 1:00 pm Mercer @ Alabama Live
13. Sat, Dec 22 7:00 pm Winthrop @ Auburn Live
14. Sat, Dec 29 1:00 pm Loyola @ DePaul Live
15. Sat, Dec 29 3:00 pm Florida A&M @ Georgia Live
16. Sun, Dec 30 3:00 pm Alabama A&M @ Mississippi State Live
17. Sun, Dec 30 5:00 pm N. Iowa @ Wichita St Live
18. Sun, Dec 30 7 :00 pm Loyola MD @ Memphis Live
19. Wed, Jan 2 7:00 pm Creighton @ Illinois State SDD 3:00 am
20. Thu, Jan 3 8:00 pm Lamar Univ @ Stephen F. Austin Live
21. Sat, Jan 5 1:00 pm Green Bay @ Detroit Live
22. Sat, Jan 5 8:00 pm S. Illinois @ Evansville Live
23. Sat, Jan 12 1:00 pm Bradley @ N. Iowa SDD 3:00 pm
24. Sat, Jan 12 1:00 pm Valparaiso @ Milwaukee SDD 3p or 12:30a
25. Sat, Jan 12 7:30 pm Memphis @ UAB Live
26. Tue, Jan 15 7:00 pm S. Illinois @ Bradley Live
27. Sat, Jan 19 1:00 pm CSU @ Green Bay Live
28. Sat, Jan 19 7:00 pm Evansville @ Indiana State SDD 3:00 am
29. Wed, Jan 23 7:00 pm Creighton @ Drake SDD 3:00 am
30. Sat, Jan 26 1:00 pm Cleveland St @ Youngstown State Live
31. Sat, Jan 26 3:00 pm Detroit @ Loyola Live
32. Sat, Jan 26 7:00 pm Evansville @ Illinois State Live
33. Tue, Jan 29 7:00 pm Illinois State @ Bradley SDD 3:00 am
34. Wed, Jan 30 7:00 pm Missouri State @ Creighton SDD 3:00 am
35. Thu, Jan 31 7:00 pm UW-Green Bay @ UIC Live
36. Sat, Feb 2 1:00 pm UW-Green Bay @ Loyola Live
37. Sat, Feb 2 6:30 pm Indiana State @ Drake Live
38. Sat, Feb 2 3:00 pm S. Illinois @ Illinois State Live
39. Sun, Feb 3 4:00 pm Northwestern St. @ McNeese St. Live
40. Wed, Feb 6 7:00 pm Illinois State @ Drake Live
41. Sat, Feb 9 1:00 pm Valparaiso @ CSU or Detroit @ Green Bay Live
42. Sat, Feb 9 1:00 pm Butler @ George Washington SDD 3:00 pm
43. Sat, Feb 9 6:30 pm Missouri State @ Wichita State Live
44. Tue, Feb 12 7:00 pm Indiana State @ Missouri State SDD 3:00 am
45. Wed, Feb 13 7:00 pm Arkansas @ Auburn Live
46. Sat, Feb 16 1:00 pm UIC @ Loyola Live
47. Sat, Feb 16 3:00 pm Georgia State @ George Mason Live
48. Sat, Feb 23 3 :00 pm William & Mary @ George Mason Live
49. Wed, Feb 27 7:00 pm N. Iowa @ S. Illinois SDD 3:00 am
50. Sat, Mar 2 1:00 pm Illinois State @ Northern Iowa Live
51. Sat, Mar 2 1:00 pm Youngstown State @ Wright State Live
52. Sat, Mar 2 4:00 pm (MVC) Wildcard : Teams TBA Live
53. Thu, Mar 7 6:00 pm (MVC) Tournament Opening Round 1 Live
54. Thu, Mar 7 8:30 pm (MVC) Tournament Opening Round 2 Live
55. Fri, Mar 8 12:00 pm (MVC) Tournament Quarterfinal 1 Live
56. Fri, Mar 8 2:30 pm (MVC) Tournament Quarterfinal 2 Live
57. Sat, Mar 9 1:30 pm (MVC) Tournament Semifinal 1 Live
58. Sat, Mar 9 4:00 pm (MVC) Tournament Semifinal 2 Live

2012-13 WOMENS COLLEGE BASKETBALL on COMCAST SPORTSNET

1. Fri, Jan 4 7:00 pm N. Iowa @ Illinois State Live
2. Thu, Jan 17 7:00 pm S. Illinois @ Indiana State Live
3. Sat, Jan 19 4:00 pm Southern Illinois @ Illinois State Live
4. Mon, Jan 21 7:00 pm Creighton @ Missouri State Live
5. Fri, Jan 25 7:00 pm N. Iowa @ Creighton SDD 3:00 am
6. Fri, Feb 8 7:00 pm N. Iowa @ Wichita State Live
7. Sun, Feb 10 2:00 pm Creighton @ Illinois State Live
8. Thu, Feb 14 7:00 pm Illinois State @ Southern Illinois Live
9. Sat, Feb 23 1:00 pm Syracuse @ S. Florida Live
10. Thu, Feb 28 7:30 pm Wichita State @ Illinois State Live
11. Sun, Mar 3 12:30 pm MVC: Wildcard game Teams TBA Live
12. Sat, Mar 9 11:00 am Big East Tournament Second Round Game 1 Live
13. Sun, Mar 10 5:00 pm Big East Tournament Quarterfinal Live
14. Sat, Mar 16 1:30 pm MVC Tournament Semifinal 1 Live
15. Sat, Mar 16 4:00 pm MVC Tournament Semifinal 2 Live
16. Sun, Mar 17 2:00 pm MVC Tournament Championship Live

(Schedules as of 11612)

SCHEDULES SUBJECT TO CHANGE

SDD Games airing on a same day delay basis
LIVE JIP Live games joined in progress

Joao Meira spills the first news of the Fire's offseason

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USA TODAY

Joao Meira spills the first news of the Fire's offseason

The wait to find out which players have their options picked up or declined by the Fire might still be a couple weeks, but the first news of a player move in the Fire's offseason came via Twitter.

Defender Joao Meira announced he won't be returning to the club in 2018.

Meira signed with the Fire just before the start of the 2016 preseason after being out of contract in Europe. The Portuguese center back signed a one-year deal with a club option for the second year.

After he played 28 matches with 26 starts in 2016, the Fire picked up his option. He became even more of a fixture at center back in 2017, beating out Jonathan Campbell for the other starting spot alongside Johan Kappelhof. Meira played in 30 regular season matches and made 27 starts, finishing fourth on the team in minutes played (2,412).

That Meira won't be back isn't a major surprise for a few reasons. First, he was out of contract. He was one of two players, along with Bastian Schweinsteiger, on the Fire's roster that the team had no control over for 2018. On top of that, the 30-year-old had made it clear that he wanted to be closer to his home and family in Portugal.

Meira's departure leaves a gap at the center back position for the Fire. Kappelhof, who enters the third year of a three-year guaranteed deal in 2018, and Campbell, who will likely have his club option picked up, enter as the only healthy center backs in 2018. Christian Dean was added in August via trade, but is coming off a broken foot, an injury that has plagued him before. His status for the start of the 2018 season is unclear.

Grant Lillard, a potential homegrown signing and a senior at Indiana, could compete for time at center back next season. He is one of the top rated players in the country for the Hoosiers, which are the No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. While Lillard could step in from a numbers perspective and would add size to the Fire's back line (Lillard is 6-foot-4), he wouldn't be able to replace Meira's ability on the ball. Meira wasn't as effective of a defender as Kappelhof, but was arguably the best passer among the Fire's center backs and helped alleviate pressure at times.

Bears-Lions prediction: Will special teams continue John Fox's NFC North woes?

Bears-Lions prediction: Will special teams continue John Fox's NFC North woes?

Only three of John Fox’s 12 wins as Bears coach have been against NFC North opponents, while 12 of his 29 losses have come against divisional opponents. 

That’s a recipe for back-to-back-to-back last place finishes in the NFC North. And if the Bears can’t beat an Aaron Rodgers-less Green Bay Packers team, why could it beat a Detroit Lions team that has a healthy franchise quarterback?

The positive end of that answer is the Bears do have wins over two playoff teams (Pittsburgh and Carolina) while six of their four losses have been by eight points or fewer. Sunday’s game will probably be close, again (if it’s not, and the Bears are on the losing end of it, it would raise some significant concerns about the state of Fox within the locker room). 

So if the game is decided by one possession or less, this could be the difference: Detroit has one of the best special teams units in the NFL, ranking second in Football Outsiders’ DVOA, while the Bears are 28th by the same measure. 

Getting Sherrick McManis back this week should help solidify Jeff Rodgers’ special teams units, but Jamal Agnew has two punt return scores and is averaging 18.3 yards per return. 

“Tough guy — he’ll return inside and outside,” Rodgers said. “He’s got multiple longer returns against people this year. it’s not just, ‘I had a long return in Week 2 or Week 1,’ and kinda held onto that. he’s been productive in a lot of games. certainly a guy that we’ve gotta do a good job against.”

If the Bears don’t do a good job bottling up Agnew, though, he could be the reason why the game flips to Detroit — or, at least, why the Lions keep the Bears at arm’s length. 

Prediction: Lions 24, Bears 16