ODU Joins Seven Other CAA Teams Chosen for ESPN Bracket Buster Saturday
By ODU Athletics
Sept. 15, 2005
RICHMOND, Va. (September 15, 2005) - Eight CAA men's basketball teams, including defending league champion Old Dominion along and four other CAA teams that advanced to post-season play last season, will participate in the 2006 ESPN Bracket Buster Saturday series on February 18, 2006. Defending conference champion Old Dominion and NIT participants Drexel, Hofstra, Northeastern and Virginia Commonwealth will represent the CAA along with Delaware, George Mason and Georgia State. This year's event will include a pool of 100 teams representing 18 different conferences.
Now in its fourth year, Bracket Buster Saturday is an ESPN television property that provides NCAA Tournament-caliber teams the opportunity to face off in a one-day, 50-game event. A total of 11 games will be televised, including six games on ESPN or ESPN2. The other five games will be televised on ESPNU, ESPN's new collegiate network that was launched on March 4, 2005. While teams have already been pre-designated as being at home or on the road, the actual pairings won't take place until three weeks before the event and are based on regular-season play. As part of the agreement, all home squads will play a "return" game at the home facility of their opponent next season.
"We are extremely excited to have eight participants, including our five post-season teams from last season, included in this year's event," CAA Commissioner Tom Yeager said. "Bracket Busters is an innovative concept that provides important late season national television exposure for those teams trying to position themselves for the NCAA Tournament."
The CAA is poised for a strong season in 2005-06 as the league's 12 teams welcome back 70% (42-of-60) of their starting lineups. Among the returnees are 14 players who earned all-conference recognition last season as well as 16 of the CAA's top 18 scorers and 19 of the conference's top 20 in rebounds. Six CAA teams were ranked among the top 103 in the final NCAA RPI a year ago and seven squads won 16 or more games.
The inaugural Bracket Buster Saturday in 2003 featured 18 teams, while the 2004 event grew to 46 teams and included 2003 CAA champion UNC Wilmington. Last year, three CAA teams - Drexel, George Mason and VCU - were among 64 participating squads. The 2006 Bracket Buster pool boasts a total of 71 team appearances in the last five NCAA Tournaments, including five Sweet Sixteen squads - Kent State (2002), Southern Illinois (2002), Butler (2003), Nevada (2004) and UW-Milwaukee (2005).
2006 Bracket Buster Saturday Participation Pool
Conference & teams
America East 2 (0-2) Albany, Vermont
Big Sky 4 (2-2) Montana, Northern Arizona Montana State, Eastern Washington
Big South 3 (1-2) Winthrop,High Point, UNC Asheville
Big West 8 (4-4) UC Irvine, Cal Poly, Pacific, Long Beach State, UC Riverside,CS-Northridge, CS-Fullerton, UC Santa Barbara
Colonial 8 (5-3) Drexel,Delaware Northeastern, George Mason, Old Dominion,Georgia State, VCU, Hofstra.
Horizon 9 (5-4) Cleveland State ,Butler, Detroit, Illinois-Chicago ,UW-Green Bay, Wright State, Loyola, Youngstown State , UW Milwaukee
Metro Atlantic 10 (5-5) Canisius,Fairfield, Iona, Marist, Loyola,Niagara, Manhattan, Rider, Saint Peter's, Siena.
Mid-American 12 (7-5) Ball State,Akron ,Bowling Green, Buffalo Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan,Kent State,Northern Illinois Miami,Toledo, Ohio, Western Michigan.
Mid-Continent 2 (1-1) Valparaiso , Oral Roberts
Missouri Valley 10 (6-4) Bradley,Drake, Creighton,Illinois State, Evansville,Indiana State Northern Iowa, Missouri State,Southern Illinois, Wichita State
Northeast 1 (0-1) Fairleigh Dickinson
OVC 11 (5-6) Austin Peay,Morehead State,Eastern Illinois, Samford, Eastern Kentucky, Southeast Missouri State,Jacksonville State, Tennessee-Martin, Murray State,Tennessee State, Tennessee Tech
Patriot 1 (0-1) Bucknell
Southern 2 (1-1) Coll. of Charleston, UNC Greensboro
Southland 2 (0-2) Northwestern State,Stephen F. Austin
Sun Belt 4 (2-2) UL Lafayette,Arkansas State, Western Kentucky, New Orleans
West Coast 2 (1-1) St. Mary's,Santa Clara
Western Athletic 9 (5-4)Boise State,Fresno State, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Louisiana Tech, San Jose State, New Mexico State, Utah State
18 conferences 100 teams 50 home teams 50 road teams