Nashville, Tenn. - The Tennessee State University men's basketball team will take on Central Michigan in the eighth annual ESPN BracketBusters on Saturday, Feb. 20.
The pool of 98 teams for this year's event, taking place Feb. 19-20, was paired off on Monday (2/1) and will feature 11 nationally televised games on the ESPN family of networks. Network assignments will be released on Feb. 8.
TSU currently sits at 4-19 overall, 1-10 in Ohio Valley Conference play and will compete in the competition for the fifth year posting a 2-2 mark. The Tigers won their last ESPN BracketBusters game when they hosted Detroit Mercy last season (2/21/09), winning 78-75.
The Tigers will take on the Chippewas at the Rose Center with tip-off time to be determined. The Chippewas currently post a record of 10-9 overall, 6-2 at home, 5-2 in conference play, and are one of six Mid-American Conference schools participating in the event.
This is the seventh-straight year Central Michigan will participate in the BracketBusters event holding a 4-2 record overall and a 4-0 record at the Rose Center.
Five OVC schools will host games this season while six will go on the road. All the games involving OVC teams will be played Saturday, Feb. 20. Murray State University (20-3) was one of the 22 teams chosen for one of 11 televised games. The Racers will host Morgan State (15-7) at the Regional Special Events Center on Feb. 20 at 11 a.m. CT. The game will air on ESPNU.
This marks the fifth time an OVC school has been selected for a television game and the first time since 2007 when Austin Peay played Akron on ESPNU. OVC schools are 1-3 all-time in BracketBusters TV games with Murray State topping Rice in 2005 for that lone victory.
The 2010 non-television matchups include: Oral Roberts (13-10) at Austin Peay (13-10), Northern Illinois (8-11) at Eastern Illinois (11-11), Winthrop (11-10) at Eastern Kentucky (15-8), Presbyterian (4-19) at Jacksonville State (10-11), Morehead State (15-7) at Illinois State (15-7), Southeast Missouri State (6-15) at Miami (Ohio) (8-13), SIU Edwardsville (3-18) at Cal State Fullerton (10-10), Tennessee Tech (12-10) at Appalachian State (12-9) and UT Martin (3-17) at Ball State (11-9).
Game times for the 10 non-television matchups will be announced at a later date. The four OVC teams who will host non-television games will have their matchups available for viewing on OVCSports.TV.
The BracketBusters concept, named because of the success of participating teams from these conferences in NCAA Tournament 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. BracketBusters is an example of ESPN college basketball franchise programming.