Men's Basketball Selected as Away Team in ESPN's BracketBusters
The sixth annual O’Reilly ESPNU BracketBusters event, a two-day men’s college basketball extravaganza pitting potential NCAA Tournament hopefuls against each other on February 22-23, will feature 14 nationally televised games on either ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN360.com or ESPN Classic --selected from a pool of 100 teams. The field is highlighted by the return of last season’s BracketBusters participants Butler and Southern Illinois, both Sweet Sixteen teams in last year’s NCAA Tournament.
This year’s coverage will feature the addition of a game on ESPN Classic. For the third straight year, ESPNU, the 24-hour college sports network, will televise five BracketBusters games while ESPN360.com, ESPN’s customized broadband service, will offer two. ESPN2 will televise six contests. ESPN360.com will also simulcast ESPN2’s six telecasts. The 14 BracketBusters matchups will be announced February 4, while game time and network assignments will be announced February 11.
BracketBusters, named because of the success of the teams in NCAA Tournament play, will provide the 28 televised teams an opportunity to play other top non-conference opponents three weeks prior to Selection Sunday. The 72 teams not selected for BracketBusters will compete against each other over the same two days.
The 100-team field will feature 12 teams from the Mid-American Conference and Colonial Athletic; 11 from the Ohio Valley Conference; 10 from the Missouri Valley, Horizon League and Metro Atlantic Athletic; nine from the Western Athletic Conference and Big West; four from the America East and Southern; two from the Patriot, Big Sky and Big South; one from the West Coast, Summit League and Atlantic Sun.
As part of the agreement, all 14 of the BracketBusters home teams, as well as the remaining 36 home squads, will play a “return” game at the home facility of their opponent in November or December of the following season.
BracketBusters is an example of ESPN college basketball franchise programming. Others include Rivalry Week Presented by Cisco, Feast Week, Holiday Hoops Presented by Kay Jewelers, Judgment Week Presented by Cisco and Championship Week Presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods.
This year’s BracketBusters pool features teams with 74 appearances in the last five NCAA Tournaments, including a team in the Final Four - George Mason (2006); and seven Sweet Sixteen squads Butler (2007), Southern Illinois (2007), Bradley (2006), Wichita State (2006), UW-Milwaukee (2005), Nevada (2004) and Butler (2003).
Mid-American: Akron, Buffalo, Eastern Michigan, Northern Illinois, Ohio, Toledo
Ohio Valley: Austin Peay, Eastern Illinois, Eastern Kentucky, Jacksonville State, Murray State Missouri Valley: Bradley, Illinois State, Missouri State, Northern Iowa, Southern Illinois
Metro Atlantic Athletic: Canisius, Iona, Loyola (Maryland), Manhattan, Saint Peter’s
Horizon: Butler, Cleveland State, Detroit, Valparaiso, UW-Green Bay
Western Athletic: Boise State, Fresno State, Louisiana Tech, New Mexico State, Utah State
Big West: Cal-State Fullerton, Cal-State Northridge, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, Pacific
Colonial Athletic: Drexel, James Madison, UNC-Wilmington, Old Dominion, Towson, William & Mary
Southern: Elon, Appalachian State
Atlantic Sun: East Tennessee State
Big Sky: Northern Arizona
Big South: Winthrop
Patriot: Holy Cross Summit League: Oral Roberts West Coast: Saint Mary’s
Mid-American: Ball State, Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Kent State, Miami (Ohio), Western Michigan Ohio Valley: Morehead State, Samford, Southeast Missouri State, Tennessee-Martin, Tennessee State, Tennessee Tech Missouri Valley: Creighton, Drake, Evansville, Indiana State, Wichita State
Metro Atlantic Athletic: Fairfield, Marist, Niagara, Rider, Siena
Horizon: Illinois-Chicago, Loyola (Illinois), Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Wright State, Youngstown State Western Athletic: Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, San Jose State
Big West: Cal Poly, Long Beach State, UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara
Colonial Athletic: Delaware, George Mason, Georgia State, Hofstra, Northeastern, Virginia Commonwealth America East: Albany, Binghamton, Boston University, Vermont
Southern: Davidson, Georgia Southern
Big Sky: Portland State Big South: High Point Patriot: Bucknell
- Category: Men's Basketball
- Published on Thursday, 13 September 2007 00:29