ESPNU BracketBusters Game Times and Telecast Networks Announced
Six Games on ESPNU, Five on ESPN2, including No. 17 Utah State
at Saint Mary’s; One Game Exclusively on ESPN360.com and No. 15 Butler at Davidson on ESPN
Game times and network assignments for the seventh annual ESPNU BracketBusters – a two-day men’s basketball event matching NCAA Tournament hopefuls against each other Friday, Feb. 20, and Saturday, Feb. 21 — were announced today. The matchups are highlighted by No. 15 Butler (21-2) against Davidson (20-4) Saturday at noon ET on ESPN; and No. 17 Utah State (23-1) against Saint Mary’s (19-4) Saturday at 5 p.m. on ESPN2.
Butler, Davidson and Saint Mary’s were 2008 NCAA Tournament participants, with Davidson advancing to the Elite Eight. Four other BracketBusters teams – George Mason, Siena, Boise State and Portland State – also were 2008 NCAA Tournament participants. Utah State is one of just three one-loss teams remaining in the ESPN/USA Today Top 25.
All 13 ESPNU BracketBusters contests will be available nationally, with ESPNU, the 24-hour college sports network, televising six games and ESPN2 televising five. ESPN and ESPN360.com, ESPN’s customized broadband service, will each offer one game, while the ESPN and ESPN2 games will be simulcast on ESPN360.com.
The 26 ESPNU BracketBusters teams were selected from a pool of 102 schools. The event provides teams an opportunity to play other top non-conference opponents three weeks before Selection Sunday. The 76 teams not selected for BracketBusters will compete against each other through the same two days.
As part of the agreement, all 13 of the BracketBusters home teams, as well as the remaining 38 home squads, will play a “return” game at the home facility of their opponent in November or December of the following season.
2009 ESPNU BracketBusters Schedule
Date Time (ET) Matchup Network
Fri., Feb 20 7 p.m. Illinois State at Niagara ESPN2 / ESPN360.com
9 p.m. Virginia Commonwealth at Nevada ESPNU
Sat., Feb 21 11 a.m. Northeastern at Wright State ESPN2 / ESPN360.com
11 a.m. Liberty at Old Dominion ESPNU
Noon #15 Butler at Davidson ESPN / ESPN360.com
1 p.m. Buffalo at Vermont ESPN2 / ESPN360.com
3 p.m. Northern Iowa at Siena ESPN2 / ESPN360.com
3:30 p.m. Miami (OH) at Evansville ESPNU
5 p.m. #17 Utah State at Saint Mary’s ESPN2 / ESPN360.com
5:30 p.m. Green Bay at Long Beach State ESPNU
7 p.m. Hofstra at Fairfield ESPN360.com
7:30 p.m. Boise State at Portland State ESPNU
9:30 p.m. George Mason at Creighton ESPNU
About ESPNU BracketBusters
The ESPNU BracketBusters concept, named because of the success of teams from these conferences in NCAA Tournament play through the years, provides participating programs with an opportunity to play top non-conference opponents about three weeks before Selection Sunday. Each conference selected its participating teams before the season, and the matchups for the event were determined by ESPN in conjunction with the conferences.
ESPNU BracketBusters is an example of ESPN college basketball franchise programming. Others include Rivalry Week Presented by Cisco, Feast Week Presented by Lowe’s, Holiday Hoops Presented by Kay Jewelers, ESPNU Campus Connection Week, Judgment Week and Championship Week Presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods.
ESPNU launched on March 4, 2005. The 24-hour college sports television network features more than 550 live events annually, including college football, college basketball and Olympic sports from more than 25 Division I conferences, as well as premier high school content. The network also has a wide-ranging, long-term agreement with the NCAA for enhanced coverage of 22 NCAA Championships.
ESPNU also offers comprehensive studio programming, including live simulcasts of ESPN Radio’s The Herd with Colin Cowherd, and replays the best games of the week from ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Regional Television. The brand is also available in high definition on ESPNU HD and online at ESPNU.com. In addition, ESPNU Campus Connection, a multi-platform student-generated content initiative, was introduced in August 2007.
ESPNU is available nationwide in more than 23 million households and has long-term carriage agreements with several top 10 providers, including Charter, Cox, DIRECTV (Channel 614), DISH Network (Channel 148), Insight Communications, Mediacom, Suddenlink, and Time Warner. ESPNU is also available on Verizon FIOS TV and AT&T U-verse.
ESPN360.com is ESPN’s broadband sports television network that gives fans a 24/7 online destination delivering more than 3,000 live, global sports events annually. It is available at no cost to fans who receive their high-speed Internet connection from an affiliated service provider. ESPN360.com is presently available in nearly 25 million homes via approximately 45 Internet service providers (ISPs) nationwide, up 40 percent in the past 12 months and more than triple its distribution just 2 years ago. Among the affiliated ISPs are AT&T, Verizon, RCN, Insight, Frontier, Cavalier, Charter, Mediacom, Conway, Grande Communications and many more. In addition, ESPN360.com is also available at no cost to approximately 18 million U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers connected to on-campus educational networks and on-base military networks (those with “.edu” and “.mil” domains).
Consumers wanting more information about ESPN360.com and which Internet services provide it, or how they can get it, should go to www.espn360.com.
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