UE News and Notes for Dec. 13, 2012

—On this, the 35th anniversary of the fatal UE men’s basketball plane crash, I wrote about Aces fan “Purple Paul” and his archive of the program’s history since the Dec. 13, 1977 tragedy.

—Other crash anniversary links: coach Marty Simmons’ memories of that day, a video produced by UE, and a piece on Midwest Sports Fans by UE graduate Josh Tinley.

With the Big East Conference’s seven basketball-only members looking for a new league, speculation is alive on the Twitterverse that realignment could affect the Missouri Valley Conference, specifically Creighton. The @MVCFans Twitter account offered this: “So does the new Big East go to 10 or 12 teams? The answer to that question will likely have a dramatic impact on the future of the Valley.” I sent a few questions today to the MVC office about exit fees and will write more about realignment as the issue progresses.

—Not far removed from Chelsea Falkenstein’s 15-rebound game against Eastern Illinois, check out a feature on the fifth-year senior and Memorial High School graduate. Also of note: The UE women, riding a six-game losing streak, will have another former Memorial star — Mallory Ladd — back for their next game a week from today at Toledo.

—Simmons confirmed a game against Butler and road contest at Indiana on next season’s schedule in a notebook from today’s paper. The Aces coach also threw out an idea of what he’d like to see become of the BracketBusters Challenge, which is in the last season of its current format.

—Barring a win in its game tonight against Troy, Alabama State (0-7) will enter the Ford Center on Saturday without a win. The Hornets are a turnover-prone team that scores just 55 points a contest that shoots 39.5 percent from the field and 53.7 percent from the free throw line. More on them tomorrow.

—Rush The Court offered its weekly MVC “Check-In,” which rates UE eighth of 10 teams in the league and asks: “From what you have seen so far, how many MVC teams are worthy of an NCAA Tournament bid?”

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