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Published: Friday, 2/22/2008

MAC nixes UT-NIU makeups

BY MAUREEN FULTON
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

The games scheduled for this week between the University of Toledo and Northern Illinois men's and women's basketball teams will not be made up, the Mid-American Conference announced last night.

NIU is taking 10 days off from athletic competition after a fatal campus shooting on Feb. 14. The Huskies will not make up their road games scheduled over the last 10 days, but each team will play a rescheduled home game. UT loses two home games and Central Michigan loses a home women's basketball game.

The Huskies men's basketball team will host Western Michigan on Tuesday and the NIU women's basketball team will host Ohio on March 3.

Because teams will have uneven records, final conference standings will be determined based on winning percentage in league play.

"While we recognize that returning back to our routines, and competition, is important, that return is certainly within constraints - academic, logistical, and otherwise," MAC commissioner Rick Chryst said in a statement.

"We have endeavored to strike a balance and, in that regard, I believe strongly that these revised schedules come as close as we can to meeting those goals."

Because MAC men's basketball is not playing a midweek game next week, this means UT will play just two games in two weeks and go 12 days between conference games. UT hosts Delaware tomorrow in a BracketBusters contest.

When in discussions this week, one date the MAC looked at to make up the men's game was on Thursday, but Savage Hall is hosting high school basketball district games that night. UT officials discussed playing the game Wednesday with the NIU-WMU game on Monday, but the conference came to an alternate decision.

Despite the difficult circumstances surrounding the cancellations, UT coach Stan Joplin said he thought the rescheduling could have been handled differently. This season the Rockets are 8-1 at home and 0-15 on the road, so not playing a scheduled home game takes on more significance.

"My suggestion was that we get the game as a win, or if there's a tiebreaker we get the tiebreaker," Joplin said. "I don't want to be put at a disadvantage."



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