Athens, GA (February13, 2009) - ESPN has announced the starting times and networks for the 2009 ESPNU BracketBusters Weekend games. The weekend will kick-off with Illinois State (20-5, 9-5 MVC) visiting Niagara University (20-6, 11-3 MAAC) in Lewiston, New York at 7:00 PM ET on Friday, February 20, 2009 (ESPN2).
Niagara University (capacity: 2,400) will host the opening game for the
2009 ESPNU BracketBusters Weekend.
Courtesy Niagara University.
For Niagara fans (and yes I graduated from there), the mood is great, as Niagara will be appearing on ESPN2 for the second consecutive weekend (the Purple Eagles game this Saturday at Fairfield (15-11, 8-7 MAAC) will be broadcast on ESPN2 at 9:00 PM ET).
Here is the schedule as announced by ESPN on February 9, 2009. The numbers in parenthesis is the teams' current RPI ranking (as of February 9, 2009) as published by RPI Guru and CBSSports.com contributor Jerry Palm.
|Friday, February 20, 2009|
|Illinois State (77) at Niagara (71) ||7:00 pm et||ESPN2/ESPN360|
|Virginia Commonwealth (73) at Nevada (126) ||9:00 pm et||ESPNU|
|Saturday, February 21, 2009|
|Northeastern (64) at Wright State (101) ||11:00 am et||ESPN2/ESPN360|
|Liberty (184) at Old Dominion (155) ||11:00 am et||ESPNU|
|#15 Butler (10) at Davidson (50) ||Noon et||ESPN/ESPN360|
|Buffalo (76) at Vermont (111) ||1:00 pm et||ESPN2/ESPN360|
|Northern Iowa (83) at Siena (27) ||3:00 pm et||ESPN2/ESPN360|
|Miami (OH) (56) at Evansville (81) ||3:30 pm et||ESPNU|
|#17 Utah State (35) at Saint Mary’s (59) ||5:00 pm et||ESPN2/ESPN360|
|Green Bay (58) at Long Beach State (158) ||5:30 pm et||ESPNU|
|Hofstra (98) at Fairfield (88) ||7:00 pm et||ESPN360|
|Boise State (80) at Portland State (143) ||7:30 pm et||ESPNU|
|George Mason (57) at Creighton (60) ||9:30 pm et||ESPNU|
The team with the most at stake if they lose is Siena College (20-6, 14-1 MAAC). Siena has a RPI of 27 with Palm (62 with Sagarin). While currently favored to win the MAAC, a loss in their BracketBuster game with Northern Iowa (18-7, 12-2 MVC) could hurt their seeding in the NCAA tournament. Even worse, if Niagara should pull an upset in the MAAC Tournament, a loss could dampen any hope for an at-large bid if their RPI drops.