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—This is one of the days you’ve been waiting for on the Division I basketball calendar: the start of men’s basketball practices. I’ll have some leftovers from media day in Saturday’s paper about how UE approaches day one — without the pizazz of midnight madness, it’s about putting in work for the Aces.

—UE practiced Friday in front of at least one recruit. Martinsville High School junior Troy Spears tweeted he’d be visiting.

—With Egidijus Mockevicius cleared, it’ll be an ongoing story to see how his presence affects the rest of the team. The most obvious adjustment could come from Ryan Sawvell, something coach Marty Simmons talked about this past summer.

—It looks as if UE will be matched up against Notre Dame’s best team in years in the season opener Nov. 10, writes NBC Sports.

—Jerry Palm of CBS Sports (and college football bowl-projecting fame) released his early 2013 NCAA tournament bracket on Friday. Just one Missouri Valley Conference team made the cut.

UE released its 2013 softball schedule on Friday. The slate includes 25 of its 49 games at the Aces’ home Cooper Stadium. Their season opens Feb. 15.

—UE volleyball plays at Northern Iowa at 7 p.m. Friday. Other sports in action this weekend include: women’s tennis against the University of Charleston at USI, cross country’s home Evansville Invitational and swimming and diving against Southern Illinois.

—Both soccer programs also play Saturday. The Aces women host Northern Iowa at 1 p.m. for their senior day, and the men play at Bradley at 6:30 p.m.

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