Monday, February 01, 2010

ESPN Announces BracketBuster Schedule

ESPN announced the 2010 BracketBuster schedule on Monday, and it's highlighed by 11 televised games. In all, 98 teams and 14 conferences will play BracketBuster games on either Friday, February 19, or Saturday, February 20.

Here are the televised games, with dates and times:

Friday, February 19
Old Dominion at Northern Iowa (ESPN2, 7 p.m. ET)

William & Mary at Iona (ESPNU, 9 p.m. ET)

Saturday, February 20
Siena at Butler (ESPN2, 11 a.m. ET)

Morgan State at Murray State (ESPNU, Noon)

Louisiana Tech at Northeastern (ESPN2, 1 p.m. ET)

Nevada at Missouri State (ESPN2, 3 p.m. ET)

Akron at Virginia Commonwealth (ESPNU, 4 p.m. ET)

Charleston at George Mason (ESPN2, 8 p.m. ET)

Western Carolina at Kent State (ESPNU, 8 p.m. ET)

New Mexico State at Pacific (ESPNU, 10 p.m. ET)

Wichita State at Utah State (ESPN2, 11:59 p.m. ET)

Our thoughts:
There are three huge games on the schedule, most notably Siena at Butler. The Saints are the clear favorites to win the MAAC, but if they were to ever need an at-large, this game is a must-win. It's also a chance for Butler to add a quality win to its resume, which is something the Bulldogs can't do in the not-so-great Horizon.

The other two important games are Old Dominion at Northern Iowa and Wichita State at Utah State. ODU already has a huge road win at Georgetown under its belt, and if they can win at UNI, they would look really good for an at-large. The Panthers got shafted a little bit because they already played Siena, but a potential win over the at-large caliber Monarchs would still be impressive.

No team might need to win their BracketBuster game more than Wichita. The Shockers are hanging onto an at-large bid in our latest bracket by the slimmest of margins, and if they can't win at UNI this week, this game becomes ultra-imperative. They wont have an easy go of it against the red-hot Aggies, though. Utah State has only lost once at home this year (to St. Mary's) and they beat BYU in Logan back on Dec. 2.

The team that has to hate its match-up the most out of this group is William & Mary. The Tribe have only themselves to blame - their fifth place position in the Colonial killed them - and getting a road game at Iona does nothing to help their at-large chances. They're really going to need to make a heck of run in conference to get back on the bubble.


Anonymous said...

Cant wait, some pretty exciting match-ups. i wish St. Marys would have got a chance to be in here. does anyone know what the rules are to be in a bracketbusters game?

Bracketology 101 said...

The slate of teams is determined before the season started. St. Mary's had a BracketBuster game last year, but WCC teams typically do not take part.

Anonymous said...

This is a terrific slate of games. Does Siena need a win at Butler to ensure an at large? Or do they still have a chance with a loss?

49ers fan said...

Old Dominion vs Northern Iowa is the game I am most looking forward to. Both those teams deserve an NCAA birth and it should be a great game.

Anonymous said...

The shockers have their work cut out for them. utah state is very tough to beat in the Spectrum.

Anonymous said...

Stew Morril is doing another masterful coaching job. Utah State seems to always play their best ball late in the season. I really think the Aggies can beat Wichita by double figures. Do you folks think Utah State could win a game in the big dance if they make it?

Bracketology 101 said...

A win over Butler for Siena would put them in great shape for an at-large should they need it. Otherwise they will be sweating it out on Selection Sunday should they go down in the conference tourney.

Anonymous said...

Does Northeastern have a realistic shot at an at large bid? or is the Colonial strictly a one bid league this year?

Bracketology 101 said...

The Colonial might end up being a two-bid league, but Old Dominion is the only team with a real legitimate shot at an at-large. William & Mary would be second on that list, but they're really a long shot right now.

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