TSU Learns ESPNU BracketBuster Opponent
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Tennessee State Matched to Play At Northern Illinois
In ESPNU Bracketbuster Game


The Tigers of Tennessee State University has been matched to play the Huskies of Northern Illinois University in the ESPNU BracketBusters series. The game will be played at the NIU Convocation Center in DeKalb, IL on Sunday, February 24, 2008 at 1:00p (CT).

A total of 100 teams, representing 16 collegiate conferences will compete in the three-day event (February 22-24, 2008). The entire slate of pairings for the O’Reilly ESPNU BracketBusters teams were announced today with all eleven Ohio Valley Conference teams participating. Of the 50 games scheduled, a total of 14 will be televised nationally on either ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN360.com or ESPN Classic. The Tennessee State – Northern Illinois game will not be on the televised list.

The ESPNU BracketBusters concept, named because of the success of teams from these conferences in NCAA Tournament play over the past years, provides participating programs with an opportunity to play top non-conference opponents approximately three weeks prior to Selection Sunday. Each conference selected their participating teams prior to the season and the matchups for the event were determined by ESPN in conjunction with the conferences.

This will be the fourth-ever basketball meeting between Tennessee State and Northern Illinois, with TSU holding a 2-1 series lead. The last time the two schools met was in the 1988-89 season, under coach Larry Reid, and NIU was a 75-65 winner.

In the 2007-08 season the Tigers are 2-0 in games played in the state of Illinois, defeating OVC foe Eastern Illinois, 74-72 (12/08) and the University of Illinois, 60-58 (12/30).

Northern Illinois is coached by Ricardo Patton, who was an assistant coach at TSU under Frankie Allen when the Tigers won back-to-back Ohio Valley Conference championships (1992-93 & 1993-94) and participated in the NCAA tournament.