DENVER--Pairings for the tenth annual BracketBusters – a three-day men’s college basketball event pitting NCAA Championship hopefuls Friday, Feb. 17 - Sunday, Feb. 19 – were announced live on ESPN's 2012 SEARS BracketBusters Selection Show tonight, Monday, Jan. 30.
The WAC received two of the 13 television games. Nevada will travel to play Iona, while New Mexico State will host Drake. Both games will take place on Saturday, Feb. 18. The Nevada game will be broadcast on ESPN or ESPN2, while the New Mexico State game will be broadcast on ESPNU.
Sears BracketBusters will feature 13 nationally televised games across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3 selected from 142 eligible teams – the largest pool in the event’s history. ESPNU will air five games; ESPN2 and ESPN3 each have two exclusive; and four flex options to be televised on ESPN or ESPN2 (determined approximately one week before the game).
Friday, Feb. 17 (All times Eastern)
Northern Iowa at VCU, 7 p.m. (ESPN2/ESPN3)
Valparaiso at Loyola-Marymount, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
Saturday, Feb. 18 (All times Eastern)
Drexel at Cleveland State, 11 a.m. (ESPNU
Wichita State at Davidson, Noon (ESPN/ESPN2/ESPN3)
Buffalo at South Dakota State, 1 p.m. (ESPNU)
Akron at Oral Roberts, 2 p.m. (ESPN/ESPN2/ESPN3)
Drake at New Mexico State, 3 p.m. (ESPNU)
Nevada at Iona, 4 p.m. (ESPN/ESPN2/ESPN3)
Old Dominion a Missouri State, 5 p.m. (ESPNU)
#16 Saint Mary's at #9 Murray State, 6 p.m. (ESPN/ESPN2/ESPN3)
UNC-Ashville at Ohio, 7 p.m. (ESPN3)
UT-Arlington at Weber State, 8 p.m. (ESPN3)
Long Beach State at #12 Creighton, 10 p.m. (ESPN2/ESPN3)
The other six WAC teams that were not selected to compete in a BracketBusters television game will play non-conference opponents on Saturday, Feb. 18. Those matchups are as follows:
WAC Non-TV Matchups (Saturday, Feb. 18)
Fresno State at Cal State Northridge, 7 p.m. PT
Hawai‘i at Montana
Portland State at Idaho
Central Arkansas at Louisiana Tech, 3 p.m. CT
San Jose State at Sacramento State
UC Santa Barbara at Utah State, 7 p.m. MT
The Sears BracketBusters concept, named because of the success of participating teams from these conferences in NCAA Championship play through the years, provides programs with an opportunity to play top non-conference opponents roughly three weeks before Selection Sunday. Each conference selects its participating teams before the season, and the matchups for the event are determined by ESPN in conjunction with the conferences. Sears BracketBusters X is an example of ESPN college basketball franchise programming. Others include Rivalry Week, Feast Week Presented by Lowe’s, Holiday Hoops Presented by Kay Jewelers and Judgment Week and Championship Week Presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods.