ELMHURST, Ill. – Pairings for the 11th Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters men's college basketball event pitting potential NCAA Championship hopefuls against each other Feb. 22-24 were announced Monday evening.
Two of The Summit League's tri-leaders, North Dakota State (18-5) and South Dakota State (18-6), were selected among the 13 televised matchups. The Bison play at Mid-American Conference leader Akron on Friday, Feb. 22 (7 p.m. ET on ESPN2) while the Jackrabbits play the following day at Murray State (8 p.m. ET on ESPN2). Both games will also be available on the WatchESPN website and app.
Remaining matchups involving Summit League teams include:
Cleveland State (Horizon) at Western Illinois
Morehead State (Ohio Valley) at Oakland
Kansas City at Tennessee Tech (Ohio Valley)
North Dakota (Big Sky) at Omaha
South Dakota at Montana State (Big Sky)
Bowling Green (Mid-American) at Fort Wayne
Milwaukee (Horizon) at IUPUI
Additional information for non-televised games, including start times, will be released by the home teams.
"We are pleased with having two of our schools chosen for nationally-televised games and look forward to our nine matchups," said Summit League Commissioner Tom Douple. "These BracketBuster games provide great exposure for our league, our universities and each of the nine competing men's basketball teams. This evening's announcement of the pairings has generated a tremendous buzz around the league and is a boost to each school's national recognition."
The Summit League currently ranks No. 18 in the current Collegiate Basketball News RPI ratings with No. 65 North Dakota State and No. 66 South Dakota State leading the way.
Future Summit League member Denver, which joins the league next season, was also selected for a television game at Northern Iowa.
As part of the agreement, all of the Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters home teams in televised and non-televised games will play a return game at the home facility of their opponent within the next two seasons.
THE SUMMIT LEAGUE ALL-TIME IN BRACKETBUSTERS
OVERALL RECORD: 9-12
By Year: 2005: 1-1; 2006: 1-1; 2007: 0-2; 2008: 0-1; 2009: 1-1; 2010: 1-0;
2011: 1-0; 2012: 4-6
HOME GAMES: 6-3
By Year: 2006: 1-0; 2007: 0-1; 2008: 1-0; 2011: 1-0; 2012: 3-2
ROAD GAMES: 4-8
By Year: 2005: 1-1; 2006: 0-1; 2007: 0-1; 2009: 1-1; 2010: 1-0; 2012: 1-4
TV GAMES: 2-2
By Year: 2007: 0-1; 2008: 0-1; 2012: 2-0
RECORD VS. LEAGUES
Big Sky: 0-1; Big West: 1-2; Horizon: 1-2; MAAC: 1-0; MAC: 3-1; Missouri Valley: 1-3; Ohio Valley: 1-1; Southland: 1-1; WAC: 0-1
ALL-TIME RESULTS FOR CURRENT MEMBERS
FORT WAYNE (0-1)
2012: at Eastern Kentucky (OVC), L, 78-69
2012: at Nicholls State (Southland), W, 84-80
KANSAS CITY (0-1)
2012: Wright State (Horizon), L, 76-62
NORTH DAKOTA STATE (2-0)
2009: at Milwaukee (Horizon), W, 77-69
2012: Western Michigan (MAC), W, 86-73
2012: at Illinois State (MVC), L, 79-75
SOUTH DAKOTA (0-1)
2012: Texas State (Southland), L, 93-92
SOUTH DAKOTA STATE (1-1)
2009: at Cal Poly (Big West), L, 66-62
2012: * Buffalo (MAC), W, 86-65
WESTERN ILLINOIS (0-1)
2012: at Evansville (MVC), L, 68-45
* denotes TV game
About Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters
The Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters concept, named because of the success of participating teams from these conferences in NCAA Championship play through the years, provides programs with an opportunity to play top non-conference opponents roughly three weeks before Selection Sunday. Each conference selects its participating teams before the season, and the matchups for the event are determined by ESPN in conjunction with the conferences. Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters is an example of ESPN college basketball franchise programming. Others include Rivalry Week, Feast Week Presented by Lowe's, Holiday Hoops Presented by Kay Jewelers, Bracket Builder Week and Championship Week Presented by DICK'S Sporting Goods.
About The Summit League
Entering its fourth decade of Division I athletics, The Summit League features men's basketball teams from nine member institutions: Fort Wayne, IUPUI, Kansas City, North Dakota State, Oakland, Omaha, South Dakota, South Dakota State and Western Illinois. Known as the Mid-Continent Conference until 2007, The Summit League enjoyed unprecedented success during a 2011-12 campaign that included an all-time best final RPI ranking, the highest home attendance in league history, the most teams in postseason tournaments, a record total of all-district honorees and the NCAA scoring champion. For more information about the league and to "See The Summit", visit www.thesummitleague.org and follow Summit League Basketball on Twitter @summithoops.