Eagles Host Former Big Sky Rival in BracketBuster Game

Cal State Northridge will visit Eastern for match-up on Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. Pacific time

The Eastern Washington University men’s basketball team will host former Big Sky Conference rival Cal State Northridge on Saturday, Feb. 19 at 7:05 p.m. as part of the ESPN BracketBusters announced Monday (Jan. 31). Tip-off will be 7:05 p.m. Pacific time at Reese Court in Cheney, Wash.

The Matadors, who were a member of the Big Sky Conference from the 1996-97 to 2000-01 school years, are currently 8-13 overall and 5-3 in the Big West Conference. They are coached by Bobby Braswell, who is currently in his 15th season at Cal State Northridge, having started there in CSN’s initial year as a Big Sky member.

The Matadors are led by 6-foot-8 Lenny Daniel, who averaged 16.1 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.1 blocked shots per game. Rashaun McLemore, a 6-5 guard/forward, averages 15.9 points and 4.2 rebounds per game for a team that averages 71.0 points per game.

McLemore is this week’s Big West Conference Player of the Week after leading his team to road victories at UC Irvine (66-62) and at UC Santa Barbara (70-69) last week. McLemore's efforts propelled Cal State Northridge into sole possession of second place in the Big West at 5-3.

Both the Eagles and the Matadors have played Seattle, with Eastern splitting a pair of games (won 95-91 in Cheney and lost 60-51 in Seattle). Cal State Northridge lost twice to the Redhawks -- 65-58 in Seattle and 75-68 in Northridge.

Eastern is 10-7 all-time against Cal State Northridge, including a 5-2 record at Reese Court. The two teams met twice in the Big Sky Conference Tournament, with Eastern losing 104-98 in overtime in the quarterfinals in 1998 in Flagstaff, Ariz., and then losing to the Matadors 73-58 in the title game in 2001 in Northridge, Calif.

The two teams have met twice since Cal State Northridge left the league. Eastern won at home 70-48 on Dec. 4, 2005, then lost in Northridge 102-98 a year later.

Eastern is currently 4-5 in the Big Sky Conference and 7-14 overall heading into road games this week at Northern Colorado and Idaho State.


Series Results . . .

1/31/91 - W - Cal State Northridge - 95-73 - H
12/28/91 - L - Cal State Northridge - 72-78 - A
12/5/92 - W - Cal State Northridge - 61-60 - 1
1/4/97 - L - Cal State Northridge* - 66-77 - A
2/13/97 - L - Cal State Northridge* - 75-78 - H
1/5/98 - W - Cal State Northridge* - 85-77 - H
2/12/98 - W - Cal State Northridge* - 87-80 - A
3/5/98 - L - Cal State Northridge - 98-104 OT - 2
1/9/99 - W - Cal State Northridge* - 85-79 - A
2/18/99 - W - Cal State Northridge* - 78-77 - H
1/15/00 - W - Cal State Northridge* - 78-77 - H
2/24/00 - W - Cal State Northridge* - 70-68 - A
1/20/01 - W - Cal State Northridge* - 88-75 - A
3/1/01 - L - Cal State Northridge* - 84-86 - H
3/10/01 - L - Cal State Northridge - 58-73 - 3
12/4/05 - W - Cal State Northridge - 70-48 - H
12/3/06 - L - Cal State Northridge - 98-102 - A


1 -- The Gaucho Classic in Santa Barbara, CA (3rd)
2 -- Big Sky Conference Tournament Quarterfinals in Flagstaff, Ariz.
3 --  Big Sky Conference Tournament Championship Game in Northridge, Calif.


BracketBusters Lineup . . .


National TV Games

(All Times EST)

Friday, Feb. 18
7 p.m. - VCU at Wichita State, ESPN2
9 p.m. – Kent State at Drexel, ESPNU

Saturday, Feb. 19
11 a.m. – Hofstra at Wright State, ESPNU
1 p.m. – Austin Peay at Fairfield, ESPNU
3 p.m. – Iona at Liberty, ESPNU
5 p.m. – Missouri State at Valparaiso, ESPN2
5 p.m. – Vermont at College of Charleston, ESPNU
7 p.m. – George Mason at Northern Iowa, ESPN2
9 p.m. – Utah State at Saint Mary’s, ESPN2
11 p.m. – Montana at Long Beach State, ESPN2

Sunday, Feb. 20
1 p.m. – Cleveland State at Old Dominion, ESPN or ESPN2.


Big Sky BracketBusters Matchups
Cal State Northridge (5-3, 8-13) at Eastern Washington (4-5, 7-14)
Cal State Fullerton (4-5, 8-14) at Idaho State (2-7, 6-15)
Idaho (5-4, 12-9) at Montana State (5-4, 11-10)
Northern Arizona (3-4, 11-8) at Cal Poly (4-4, 9-11)
Northern Colorado (7-1, 11-9) at New Mexico State (6-3, 12-11)
Loyola Marymount (1-6, 8-13) at Portland State (4-5, 11-10)
Sacramento State (2-8, 5-16) at Southeast Missouri State (4-8, 5-17)
Weber State (4-4, 10-9) at San Jose State (2-7, 10-10)


More on the BracketBusters . . .

To Tweet This Release: http://es.pn/ESPNBracketBusters

January 31, 2011

ESPN BracketBusters: 11 Games, Teams from 13 Conferences

Pairings for the ninth annual BracketBusters – a three-day men’s college basketball event pitting NCAA Championship hopefuls Friday, Feb. 18 - Sunday, Feb. 20 – were announced live on ESPNU’s 2011 BracketBusters Selection Show tonight, Monday, Jan. 31. The field features No. 21 Utah State in addition to seven teams receiving votes in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll.  

BracketBusters will feature 11 nationally televised games over three days, selected from a 114 eligible teams – the largest pool in the event’s history. ESPNU and ESPN2 will each air five games; all ESPN2 contests will be simulcast on ESPN3.com. The Feb. 20 game with two teams ranked in the Rating Percentage Index (RPI) top 31 – No. 29 Cleveland State at No. 31 Old Dominion at 1 p.m. will air either on ESPN or ESPN2 (determined approximately one week before the game).

No. 21 nationally ranked Utah State will play at St. Mary’s (CA), who dropped out of the top 25 this week, Saturday, Feb. 19, at 9 pm. ET on ESPN2. Other anticipated matchups include Virginia Commonwealth at Wichita State on Friday, Feb. 18, at 7 p.m. on ESPN2 and Missouri State at Valparaiso on Saturday, Feb. 19, at 5 p.m. on ESPN2.

This year’s BracketBusters pool consists of teams from 13 conferences, including five from the Colonial Athletic Association, three apiece from the Horizon League and Missouri Valley Conference and two from the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. Highlights:

  • Utah State is ranked No. 21 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll;
  • Seven teams are receiving votes in the coaches poll – Cleveland State, Missouri State, Northern Iowa, St. Mary’s (CA), Valparaiso, Virginia Commonwealth and Wichita State;
  • 17 of the 22 teams are ranked in the top 100 of the NCAA Ratings Percentage Index (RPI): Cleveland State (29); Utah State (30); Old Dominion (31); George Mason (33); St. Mary’s (CA) (34); Missouri State (45); Wichita State (49); Virginia Commonwealth (51); Drexel (53); Northern Iowa (54); Valparaiso (55); Kent State (78); Vermont (85); Montana (94); College of Charleston (95); Hofstra (96) and Wright State (99);
  • 12 teams have 15 or more wins against Division I competition: Cleveland State; College of Charleston; Fairfield; George Mason; Missouri State; Northern Iowa; Old Dominion; St. Mary’s (CA); Utah State; Vermont; Virginia Commonwealth and Wichita State;
  • Utah State is one of only nine teams nationally to reach the 20-win plateau this season and the only team in the pool to own an undefeated record in conference play;
  • Five 2010 NCAA Championship participants: Montana; Northern Iowa; St. Mary’s (CA); Utah State and Vermont.

2011 BracketBusters Schedule (All times are Eastern and are subject to change)


BracketBusters in NCAA Championship play from 2006-10:

2010 NCAA Championship: 11 berths – Morgan State, Murray State, New Mexico State, Northern Iowa, Ohio, Old Dominion, Siena, Utah State, UC-Santa Barbara, Vermont, Winthrop. Five wins overall: Murray State defeated Vanderbilt; Northern Iowa defeated UNLV and Kansas; Ohio defeated Georgetown; and Old Dominion defeated Notre Dame.

2009 NCAA Championship: 12 berths – Akron, Butler, Cal State Northridge, Cleveland State, Morehead State, Morgan State, North Dakota State, Northern Iowa, Portland State, Siena, Utah State, and Virginia Commonwealth. Three wins overall: Cleveland State defeated Wake Forest; Morehead State defeated Alabama State and Siena beat Ohio State.

2008 NCAA Championship: 15 Berths - Austin Peay, Boise State, Butler, Cal State-Fullerton, Davidson, Drake, George Mason, Kent State, Oral Roberts, Portland State, Saint Mary’s, San Diego, Siena, UMBC and Winthrop. Six wins overall: Davidson defeated Gonzaga, Georgetown and Wisconsin to reach the Elite Eight; Butler defeated South Alabama; Siena defeated Vanderbilt; and San Diego defeated Connecticut.

2007 NCAA Championship: 17 Berths - Albany, Butler, Creighton, Davidson, Eastern Kentucky, Holy Cross, Long Beach State, Miami (Ohio), Nevada, New Mexico State, Niagara, Old Dominion, Oral Roberts, Southern Illinois, Virginia Commonwealth, Winthrop and Wright State.  Seven wins overall: Butler defeated Old Dominion and Maryland to reach the Sweet Sixteen; Southern Illinois defeated Holy Cross and Virginia Tech to reach the Sweet Sixteen; Nevada defeated Creighton; Virginia Commonwealth defeated Duke; and Winthrop defeated Notre Dame.

2006 NCAA Championship: 19 Berths - Albany, Bradley, Bucknell, George Mason, Iona, Kent State, Montana, Murray State, Nevada, UNC-Wilmington, Northern Iowa, Northwestern State, Pacific, Oral Roberts, Utah State, Southern Illinois, UW-Milwaukee, Winthrop and Wichita State. Twelve wins overall: Bradley defeated Kansas and Pittsburgh to reach the Sweet Sixteen; Bucknell defeated Arkansas; George Mason defeated Michigan State, North Carolina, Wichita State and Connecticut to reach the Final Four; Montana defeated Nevada; Northwestern State defeated Iowa; UW-Milwaukee defeated Oklahoma; and Wichita State defeated Seton Hall and Tennessee to reach the Sweet Sixteen.

About BracketBusters

The BracketBusters concept, named because of the success of participating teams from these conferences in NCAA Tournament 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. 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 and Judgment Week and Championship Week Presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods.

 Media contact: Rachel Margolis at 860-766-2798 or rachel.l.margolis@espn.com


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