JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Sept. 8, 2004) - It was announced Wednesday that for the second straight season, the East Tennessee State University men's basketball team has been selected to participate in the ESPN Bracket Buster Saturday on Feb. 19, 2005.
The event, now in its third year, is an ESPN television property that allows 64 teams from 13 Division I conferences to participate in a cutting-edge format that involves "wild-card" scheduling for the pool of participating teams, with half of the Bracket Buster Saturday teams pre-designated as "home" and the remaining half as road teams. Last season, the Buccaneers traveled to face Western Athletic Conference foe Fresno State, and enjoyed a 66-62 win that day over the Bulldogs.
This year, the Bucs are designated as a home team and will host the event inside Memorial Center.
"We are extremely excited to once again participate in the ESPN Bracket Buster," said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow. "Last year was a great experience for our team, especially going to Fresno State and being fortunate enough to get a win on their home court. This year, Fresno makes the return trip to play us here at the Dome, plus we will host a Bracket Buster game. For our program, the event has been nothing but positive."
Much like last season, 11 of the 32 games will be televised, including six games on ESPN or ESPN2, and the remaining five games on ESPN's Full Court (a national subscription service) and on regional and local syndication. The remaining 21 games will not be televised. The evaluation and pairings of teams for the 11-game ESPN television package will be made by the staff of ESPN, in consultation with conference commissioners of participating conferences. Consideration will be given to avoiding match-ups of conference teams and match-ups of any teams that have already met during the current season.
Beginning in January, conference telephone calls will be conducted with the commissioners and ESPN personnel with the purposes of reviewing teams for the BBS field. ESPN, in consultation with the conference commissioners, will make pairings decisions on Sunday morning, January 30. Pairing decisions for the remaining 21 games will be announced by Thursday, February 3, 2005.