The CCIW is not for the faint of heart.
Over the next week the North Central men's basketball team will have to play possibly the most difficult stretch of its schedule. On the line is a chance to prove the Cardinals merit their No. 5 national ranking and a clear path to the conference title.
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Wednesday the Cardinals go on the road to play No. 16 Illinois Wesleyan. If North Central wins it will join Illinois Wesleyan atop the conference standings, with the tiebreaker in hand. A loss would put them two games behind the Titans and in need of help to win the conference.
Following Wednesday's Top 25 matchup, the Cardinals stay on the road to play No. 25 Wheaton College before returning home for a rematch against Carthage, the only team to beat North Central this year.
The Bluejays named Joe Adam their new football coach, replacing Tim Lester, who left last week to become the quarterbacks coach at Syracuse. Adam will take over a team coming off its most successful season in program history.
Like his predecessor, Adam was hired from within the Elmhurst coaching staff. Adam has been on the staff since 2007 as an assistant coach, and has been the defensive coordinator for the past five years. In addition to his coaching duties, he was the recruiting coordinator. During last year's conference title run Adam's defense was responsible for numerous late-game stops and turnovers, including a late interception to upset Wheaton.
The coaching search took only one week before Adam was named, partially due to an endorsement from Lester. Although this will be his first head coaching job, Adam has had success at every other position he has held. Before joining the Bluejays Adam was an assistant on the Western Michigan staff and defensive line coach at Harper College before that.
College of DuPage:
The Chaparrals women's basketball team will look to defend its No. 8 ranking Wednesday when it goes on the road to play Triton.
The national recognition is especially impressive this year due to the many schedule changes the team has faced. Due to construction on its on-campus arena, College of DuPage has played all of its home games since the first of the year at Walker Athletics and Sports Performance in Lisle.
With the new court has come scheduling conflicts, including one Wednesday. The game, originally scheduled as a home game for the Chaparrals, was changed Tuesday to a road game. The team doesn't have another home game scheduled until Feb. 2.