UE News and Notes for March 15, 2013

—UE’s baseball team, the nation’s leader in fielding percentage last season, committed a pair of errors and left 11 runners on base in a 4-3 loss to Purdue on Friday at Braun Stadium. But the Aces are still young — still working with a new left side of the infield. With rain anticipated Sunday, UE and Purdue will play a doubleheader starting at noon Saturday to finish the three-game series.

The UE softball team split its Missouri Valley Conference-opening doubleheader against Creighton at Cooper Stadium on Friday, dropping game one by a 2-0 score before winning game two 5-2. Again, weather has moved up the series, and the Aces will host the Bluejays at noon Saturday.

—Louisville, Baylor and UCLA debuted sleeved jerseys from adidas this week at conference tournaments, but yeah, we know: the Aces had them first. And despite wearing them once in the last decade, UE still keeps a set of of sleeved uniforms for special occasions.

—This sound familiar? Illinois State is holding out hope this week for a National Invitation Tournament bid just as other Missouri Valley Conference members UE and Indiana State are. Most believe Northern Iowa, the league’s third-place finisher, will make the field.

—Two projections at BracketologyExpert.com now have the Aces in the NIT field. Adding to Daniel Evans’ bracket published earlier this week, Blake Hofstad now also lists the Aces as a six seed playing Air Force in the opening round. Northern Iowa and Indiana State are also in Hofstad’s bracket.

—Friday’s NCAA bracket projections have Wichita State avoiding an NCAA 12th seed, which is the cutoff to enter into play-in games in Dayton. Shockers beat writer Paul Suellentrop has kept up with bracketology on his blog here. Most see Wichita State has a 10 or 11 seed.

—The Chicago Tribune (DePaul market) has thrown its hat into reporting on formation of the new Big East Conference, and reporter Brian Hamilton wrote Friday: “Creighton indeed will be the 10th team in the league, a source told the Tribune. There had been some debate on the identity of any additions after Xavier and Butler, but the new Big East has settled on Creighton for certain, barring unexpected complications.”

Buffalo on Friday fired men’s basketball coach Reggie Witherspoon, making that two coaches along with former Drake coach Mark Phelps the Aces saw this year. Witherspoon’s Bulls beat UE back during November in the game where senior Colt Ryan left in the first half with a hip injury.

—Drake’s sharp-shooting freshman, Micah Mason, announced he’ll transfer somewhere closer to home (Pittsburgh) in a decision that didn’t have to do with Phelps’ firing.

—It’s a Ford Center story unrelated to UE — rather the city — but a review of the arena’s construction is examining whether officials paid too much in six or seven areas when it was built.

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