By WEEK Producer


February 4, 2013 Updated Feb 4, 2013 at 8:19 PM CDT

There will be no shortage of storylines when Bradley (13-10) visits Illinois-Chicago (14-9) in the annual Ramada BracketBusters event Feb. 23 (3 p.m.) at UIC Pavilion.

Not only does the matchup feature two of the most-improved teams in college basketball, but it also will match the Braves against a pair of former Bradley assistant coaches. Third-year Flames head coach Howard Moore was on the Bradley staffs of both Jim Molinari and Jim Les from 2000-03, while current Flames associate head coach Al Biancalana also was on the staff of both head coaches from 1999-2005. Together, Moore and Biancalana helped the 2000-01 Braves to a 19-12 overall record, a tie for second n the 2001 Missouri Valley Conference regular-season race with a 12-6 league mark and earn a home game in the 2001 National Invitation Tournament.

Bradley is 3-1 all-time against UIC, most recently earning a 67-61 victory Nov. 14, 2008 at Carver Arena. The Braves lost their only previous game at UIC Pavilion, however, suffering an 84-75 loss Nov. 10, 2007. As part of the BracketBusters agreement, UIC will be required to return to Peoria for a second game in the series during the 2013-14 or 2014-15 season.

As the BracketBusters pairings were announced Monday, both Bradley and UIC are tied for sixth nationally for the greatest increase in victories compared to last year. While the Braves are coming off a 7-25 record in 2011-12, UIC was 8-22 a year ago.

Bradley is 7-2 all-time in the initial February matchups in the BracketBusters events with previous road wins at VCU (73-64 in 2007), Loyola-Chicago (86-75 in 2009) and Tennessee-Martin (81-75 in 2011).
Article courtesy BU Sports Information.

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