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NCAA Hoops: McCamey leads Illini, Irish prevail

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NCAA Hoops: McCamey leads Illini, Irish prevail

Saturday, March 5, 2011
Posted: 1:22 p.m. Updated: 5:15 p.m.

Associated Press

McCamey leads Illinois over Indiana

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Demetri McCamey scored 22 points and Mike Davis added 13 to lead Illinois past Indiana 72-48 Saturday.

The win gives the Illini (19-12, 9-9 Big Ten) a .500 record in conference play and improves their resume for a spot in the NCAA tournament. It also give Illinois a first-round bye in the Big Ten tournament next week in Indianapolis.

Illinois never trailed and opened up a 19-point lead at 34-15 on a McCamey layup with just over six minutes left in the first half.

Complete recap, Box score
No. 8 Notre Dame edges No. 16 Connecticut

STORRS, Conn. - In the end, No. 8 Notre Dame didn't need Ben Hansbrough, and Connecticut needed more than Kemba Walker.

Hansbrough scored 21 points despite fouling out with over 8 minutes left, and Notre Dame held off Walker and the 16th-ranked Huskies 70-67 on Saturday.

"I love all my teammates and I'm was just thrilled for them to go out and get it done," Hansbrough said. "It means a lot for me."

Complete recap, Box score
Northern Illinois topples Eastern Michigan 66-49

DE KALB, Ill. - Jeremy Landers scored 17 points to lead Northern Illinois to a 66-49 victory over cold-shooting Eastern Michigan on Wednesday night.

Antone Christian added 13 points and Tim Toler 12 for the Huskies (9-19, 5-10 Mid-American Conference), who won their second straight game.

Brandon Bowdry's 17 points led the Eagles (8-21, 4-11), who lost their third in a row. Bowdry was the only Eastern Michigan player with more than three baskets, going 4-for-10 as his team shot 14-for-52 (26.9 percent). Antonio Green added 15 points, including three of the Eagles' five 3-pointers.

Complete recap, Box score
No. 12 Syracuse beats DePaul 107-59

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Rick Jackson had 14 points, seven rebounds and four blocks, making sure his final game in the Carrier Dome was one he would never forget as No. 12 Syracuse overwhelmed DePaul 107-59 on Saturday.

It was the fifth straight win for Syracuse (25-6, 12-6 Big East) after a midseason swoon in which the Orange lost four straight and six of eight after an 18-0 start. Syracuse also clinched a double-bye in next week's Big East tournament at Madison Square Garden.

DePaul (7-23, 1-17) has won only two regular-season conference games in the past three years, and its chances of adding another were dim at best without standout freshman forward Cleveland Melvin, the team's leading scorer with a 17.4 average in Big East play. Melvin's season ended with sprained left thumb suffered against St. John's 11 days ago.

Complete recap, Box score

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Say it ain't so: DePaul commit Tyger Campbell reopens recruitment

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AP

Say it ain't so: DePaul commit Tyger Campbell reopens recruitment

It looks like it was too good to be true.

Tyger Campbell shocked the recruiting world when he committed to DePaul on May 8.

Less than four months later, Campbell has reopened his recruitment.

The Rivals.com four-star point guard out of La Lumiere High School in Indiana, who is the No. 66 prospect in the 2018 Class, took to Twitter Friday night to explain his decision.

One of Campbell's original draws to the Blue Demons was DePaul hiring Shane Heirman as an assistant coach. Heirman coached Campbell for two seasons at La Lumiere.

"I like DePaul and honestly my coach (Shane Heirman) just went there and we have a great connection and he's always had my back," Campbell told Scout.com when he committed to the Blue Demons. "I like [DePaul] coach Dave Leitao, too. I like his program and he's an intelligent guy."

Campbell currently has offers from a handful of D1 schools, including Illinois, Michigan State, Ole Miss, Purdue, SMU, Memphis and Tennessee.

Upset alert? Why a confident UIC is challenging juggernaut Kentucky

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USA TODAY

Upset alert? Why a confident UIC is challenging juggernaut Kentucky

On the heels of a 12-win improvement, UIC basketball is riding confidently into the new season. 

And why shouldn't they be? Head coach Steve McClain returns a young, talented nucleus that's expected to challenge for a Horizon League championship and NCAA Tournament berth. 

In fact, the program is in such good shape that they thought: Let's play Kentucky. 

Yup, that's right. The UIC Flames will match up with the Kentucky Wildcats at Rupp Arena on Nov. 26, a necessary stage in development, according to McClain. 

“Every year you build your program, there’s steps you have to take," McClain said. "When we got the opportunity to go to Kentucky, I think that’s the next level of exposure for our program.

"When you're chasing trying to be great, you gotta show your kids and show people what greatness looks like. I don't think anyone can argue what Kentucky has done, so I want to put our kids in that environment so they see what it is." 

The contrast between programs is severe. UIC hasn't made an NCAA Tournament since 2004. The Wildcats have made 11 since then. UIC has never advanced out of the first round at the Big Dance. Kentucky has eight National Championships. 

Even this upcoming season, as the Flames boast one of their most skilled teams in school history, none of them were ever touted like Kentucky's freshman class, which ranks No. 2 in the nation per ESPN. 

But the disparities in past successes don't seem to bother UIC. Instead, players, who were likely snubbed by bigger schools in recruitment, are excited about the opportunity to compete on a national stage that the Flames rarely see. 

“First I was like, ‘It’s about time we got someone like (Kentucky) on our schedule,’" said center Tai Odiase, one of the few seniors on the roster. "We’ve been trying to play bigger teams to showcase what we’re made of."

“I don’t see why you go into a place like that without a chip on your shoulder. You don’t go in there just to play basketball, we’re trying to win."

UIC will be heavy, heavy underdogs. There's no way around that. But there are certain spots where they may not be at such a disadvantage. 

On the defensive end, Odiase continued to terrorize guards and big men alike, finishing fifth in the NCAA with 2.9 blocks per game. The dynamic guard duo from "The Six," Godwin Boahen and Marcus Ottey, are quick enough to hang and both took a huge step down the stretch last season. Then there's the return of 2015-2016 Horizon League Newcomer of the Year Dikembe Dixson, who is recovering from a torn ACL.

"The doctors at times thought he was a freak of nature because he was back as quick as he was," McClain said.  

Still, it's a tune-up game for Kentucky, who also scheduled Kansas, UCLA and Louisville on their non-conference slate. But one team's expected walk through is another team's vital experience. 

"Our guys can walk in and see that on a given night, you can compete with anyone," McClain said. 

Given new athletic director Garrett Klassy's comments at his introductory press conference, it doesn't seem as if games like this are a one-hit wonder for UIC. 

“I am an aggressive scheduler," Klassy said. "I helped with the scheduling at George Washington. We’ll play anyone, anytime, anywhere.

"You want to measure yourself against the best. We have a lot of returning starters. It’ll be nice to go on the road, play a tough game and maybe sneak out an upset."