September 28, 2011

Tech part of largest Sears BracketBusters field ever

Tech slated for a road game in this year's event

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee Tech will be one of 142 teams to take part in this year's Sears BracketBusters and will have a chance to receive national exposure on an ESPN network as part of the event.

The 10th annual Sears BracketBusters, a three-day men’s college basketball event pitting potential NCAA Championship hopefuls against each other Feb. 17-19, will feature 13 nationally televised games – on either ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU or ESPN3. This year will mark the largest Sears BracketBusters pool in the event’s history, which includes two teams that reached the 2011 Final Four in Houston — Butler and VCU.

Tennessee Tech played host to Gardner-Webb as part of last season's BracketBusters event, scoring a 60-58 victory at the Eblen Center. This year, the Golden Eagles will play on the road against one of 58 potential host squads.

For the seventh straight year, ESPNU will feature five Sears BracketBusters games, while ESPN or ESPN2 will televise up to six and ESPN3 will carry two. The 13 Sears BracketBusters matchups will be announced Monday, Jan. 30 with dates, times and networks. The television matchups are selected by ESPN, while a Committee of Conference Commissioners determines the additional non-televised games.
  
Sears BracketBusters, named because of the success of the teams in NCAA Championship play, will provide the 26 televised teams an opportunity to play other top non-conference opponents three weeks before Selection Sunday. The 116 teams not selected for Sears BracketBusters will compete against each other through the same three days.
The 142-team field will feature teams from 16 conferences: 12 each from Colonial Athletic Association, Mid-American Conference and Southland; 11 each from Ohio Valley Conference and Big South; 10 each from Horizon League, Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, Missouri Valley and Summit League; nine each from America East, Big Sky and Big West; eight from the Western Athletic Association; four from the Southern Conference; three from the MEAC; and two from the West Coast Conference.
As part of the agreement, all 13 of the Sears BracketBusters home teams in televised games, as well as the remaining 58 home squads, will play a return game at the home facility of their opponent in November or December of the 2013-14 season.

Sears BracketBusters is part of ESPN’s college basketball franchise programming, along with Rivalry Week, Feast Week presented by Lowe’s, Holiday Hoops Presented by Kay Jewelers, Judgment Week and Championship Week Presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods.
 
Teams participating this season in Sears BracketBusters have produced 87 appearances in the last six NCAA Championships.