TSU to Host Loyola (Md.) in BracketBuster Game
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
TSU to Host Loyola (Md.) in BracketBuster Game

The Tennessee State men's basketball team will host Loyola (Md.) on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 7 p.m.

The matchup is a part of the 11th Annual ESPN Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters event as announced on Monday night.

This will be the sixth time TSU has participated in the event and the second time the Tigers will play Loyola (Md.). TSU lost to the Greyhounds 62-60 in 2007.

TSU is 4-2 all-time in BracketBuster games and won last year's game, 68-61, over Miami (Oh.).

The Tigers matchup with the Greyhounds is one of nine non-television games featuring Ohio Valley Conference teams. The others include Austin Peay at Liberty, Eastern Illinois at Northern Illinois, Jacksonville State at UNC Asheville, Morehead State at Oakland, SIU Edwardsville at Central Arkansas, Ball State at South East Missouri State, UMKC at Tennessee Tech and Longwood at UT Martin.

The four OVC teams (Tennessee State, South East Missouri, Tennessee Tech, UT Martin) who will host non-TV BracketBusters games will have their matchups available for viewing live and for free on the OVC Digital Network.

Meanwhile, three OVC teams were awarded TV games for the first time. Those matchups, which will all be on Feb. 23, involve Eastern Kentucky at Valparaiso (ESPNU, Noon, CT), South Dakota State at Murray State (ESPN2, 7 p.m., CT) and Ohio at Belmont (ESPN2, 9 p.m., CT). The league never had more than one TV game per year prior to this season.

In its 11th year, Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters is an ESPN television property that was tremendously successful with its first 10 events in February of 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. The event has allowed Division I conferences to participate in a cutting-edge format that involves "wild card" pairings from the pool of participating teams, with half of the BracketBusters teams pre-designated as "home" and the remaining half as "road" teams.

What sets BracketBusters apart from the other made-for-television events is that the pairings of teams is not pre-determined. The actual pairings take place three weeks in advance of the event, and those matchups are determined on the basis of regular season play. Another important component for Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters participants is future scheduling. Each team that participates in any given year agrees to enter into a home-and-home series with its to-be-named opponent. The return game allows for the completion of the two-game series contract and is not part of the BracketBusters event in that second year.

The evaluation and pairings of teams for the ESPN television package are made by the staff of ESPN, in consultation with the commissioners of participating conferences. Consideration is given to avoiding matchups of conference teams and matchups of any teams that have already met during the current season.

ESPN announced in December this will be the final year of the BracketBusters event.

The OVC owns an all-time record of 32-45 in the ESPN BracketBusters. That mark includes a 21-16 record in home games and an 11-29 record in away contests. Every OVC school has participated in this event the past several years.