Bears will host Cal Poly in ESPN's 2012 BracketBusters
GREELEY -- Pairings for ESPN's 10th annual Sears BracketBusters event were announced Monday night, and Northern Colorado is set to host Cal Poly in a non-TV matchup Saturday, Feb. 18.
The Bears (6-13, 3-5 Big Sky) will welcome in the Mustangs (13-9, 4-5 Big West) for a 7:05 p.m. tip at Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion and then travel to San Luis Obispo once in the next two seasons as part of the BracketBusters participants agreement.
The field for this year's three-day event (Feb. 17-19) was revealed earlier Monday on ESPNU's 2012 BracketBusters Selection Show.
The game against the Mustangs will be Northern Colorado's first against a Big West opponent in two seasons, since it lost 63-59 to Pacific in Greeley in 2010 during the quarterfinals of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT).
The Bears and the Mustangs have faced off once in their respective histories, with Cal Poly earning a 76-62 victory on Dec. 17, 1990. Northern Colorado is 2-9 all-time against current Big West teams. It earned a 111-77 win against UC Davis in on Dec. 6, 1966, and then knocked off UC Irvine 62-59 on January 15, 1977.
BracketBusters will feature 11 nationally televised games over three days in February, selected from 114 eligible teams -- the largest pool in the event's history. ESPNU and ESPN2 will each air five games, and all ESPN2 contests will be simulcast on ESPN3.com.
The 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.