EIU, SIUE In Bracketbusters Contests

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Published on February 5 2013 12:35 pm
Last Updated on February 5 2013 12:37 pm
Written by Millie Lange

CHARLESTON, Ill. – Eastern Illinois men’s basketball will play at Northern Illinois in this year’s Ramada Worldwide Bracketbusters contest to be played on Saturday, Feb. 23 in DeKalb.  This will be the second time that EIU has faced NIU in the Bracketbusters series.

This will be last year of the current Bracketbusters format.  EIU has played in the series seven previous times with a 3-4 record.  EIU lost last year’s home Bracketbusters game to Illinois-Chicago.  EIU beat NIU 73-70 in the 2010 Bracketbusters game played in Lantz Arena.

The Panthers return to action this Thursday playing at UT Martin with a 7 p.m. tip.  EIU is currently third in the OVC West Division race with a 3-7 conference record.  The Panthers are 6-17 overall having their three game win streak snapped on Saturday night at SIU Edwardsville.

NIU is 5-15 overall, 3-5 in the Mid-American Conference.  EIU and NIU have met 87 previous times with the Huskies holding a slim 44-43 all-time series lead.

Three Ohio Valley Conference teams were selected for televised Bracketbuster match-ups.  Eastern Kentucky will travel to Valparaiso.  Murray State will host South Dakota State and Belmont will host Ohio.  The EKU game will be on ESPNU while the other two games will be televised on ESPN2.

The non-television matchups include: Austin Peay at Liberty, Eastern Illinois at Northern Illinois, Jacksonville State at UNC Asheville, Morehead State at Oakland, Ball State at Southeast Missouri, SIUE at Central Arkansas, Loyola (Md.) at Tennessee State, UMKC at Tennessee Tech, and Longwood at UT Martin.

SIUE men's basketball will travel to Central Arkansas to face the Bears in Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters as announced this by ESPN. The Cougars join the 11 other Ohio Valley Conference schools in the 11th annual event. The game is slated for 4:30 p.m. matchup Saturday, February 23 in Conway, Ark.

"BracketBusters is a great opportunity to see a school outside of our conference," SIUE Head Coach Lennox Forrester said.

Central Arkansas, a member of the Southland Conference, is 9-11 overall this season and 4-6 in conference play. The Bears have five games scheduled prior to the BracketBusters game. UCA has faced three other OVC schools previously this season and is 3-0 in those games. The Bears have wins against Eastern Illinois, UT Martin and Southeast Missouri.

This is the third time SIUE has been included in the Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters field. The Cougars played Cal State Fullerton during its first BracketBusters appearance in 2010.
Last season the Cougars defeated Northern Illinois at SIUE in the event.

The Cougars currently are 8-11 overall and also have five games prior to the meeting with Central Arkansas.  SIUE and Central Arkansas have met only once, with the Cougars falling to the Bears in the 1993 season, when both schools were Division II members.

Central Arkansas will make a return to SIUE as early as next season.