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Tuesday, January 31, 2006
NASHVILLE --- Tennessee State will play Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., on Feb. 18 as part of the ESPN BracketBusters pairings announced on Tuesday. The game will start at 4 p.m. (EST), according to Ball State officials. The Tigers are one of 10 Ohio Valley Conference men's basketball teams who will step outside of league action in mid-February for the non-conference matchups, it was announced by OVC Commissioner Dr. Jon A. Steinbrecher. In September, 2005, Austin Peay, Eastern Illinois, Eastern Kentucky, Jacksonville State, Morehead State, Murray State, Southeast Missouri, Tennessee-Martin, Tennessee State and Tennessee Tech were among 100 squads, representing 18 conferences, selected by ESPN to participate in the 2006 BracketBusters presented by eBay "pool" of teams. On Monday, ESPN announced that OVC member Samford was one of 26 squads picked from the 100-team pool as the 2006 BracketBusters presented by eBay "field," which will be showcased on the ESPN family of networks. For the remaining 74 teams from the original pool of 100, an intra-conference home-and-home series was created, with the first game scheduled for Saturday, February 18. The Tigers will host Ball State in the Gentry Center next season. Squads were pre-designated in September as "home" or "road" teams. Joining Austin Peay and Murray State as five of the 37 squads who will be at home for non-conference action are Eastern Illinois, Eastern Kentucky and Jacksonville State. The Tigers along with Morehead State, Southeast Missouri, Tennessee-Martin, and Tennessee Tech are among the five OVC and 37 teams overall who will be on the road. OVC Teams Tennessee State (8-10) at Ball State (7-10) Arkansas State (9-13) at Austin Peay (12-10) Eastern Michigan (3-14) at Eastern Illinois (5-14) UNC Asheville (5-13) at Eastern Kentucky (10-10) New Orleans (5-14) at Jacksonville State (9-10) Morehead State (2-17) at Central Michigan (3-15) Illinois-Chicago (10-12) at Murray State (14-5) Southeast Missouri (6-14) at UC Riverside (2-16) UT Martin (8-12) at Evansville (5-14) Tennessee Tech (15-7) at Bradley (12-7)