Feb. 1, 2010
Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina learned Monday evening that it will travel to Kent State on Saturday, Feb. 20 as a part of the eighth-annual ESPN BracketBuster. The second meeting in the last two seasons between the Catamounts and the Golden Flashes will be broadcast live on ESPNU at 8:00 pm.
Western Carolina and Kent State faced each other in Kent, Ohio on Dec. 6 last season with the Catamounts winning 89-84 in overtime at KSU's M.A.C. Center.
Both Southern Conference front runners WCU and the College of Charleston earned television appearances in the BracketBuster. The Cougars also play on Feb. 20 at 8:00 pm on ESPN2 at George Mason.
Kent State (14-7) is a member of the Mid-American Conference (MAC) and has been part of the BracketBuster event since its inception for the 2003 season. The Flashes have won four straight games in the event and own an overall record of 5-2.
WCU fifth-year head coach Larry Hunter will again match wits against a former pupil in Kent State skipper, Geno Ford. Ford was a four-year letter winner for Hunter at Ohio University from 1993-97. After a year of playing professionally, the 1,700-point career scorer, rejoined his former coach as an assistant coach for three-seasons.
BracketBusters will feature 11 nationally televised games live, selected from a pool of 98 teams. ESPNU, the 24-hour college sports network, will televise five BracketBusters games, and ESPN2 will televise six, all simulcast on ESPN360.com, ESPN's customized broadband service.
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 NCAA 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.
As part of the agreement all home teams, will play a "return" game at the home facility of their opponent in November or December of the following season.
Southern Conference North Division leading Western Carolina (17-5, 7-3) will return home for back-to-back conference home games in the Ramsey Center beginning this Thursday, Feb. 4. The Catamounts entertain the Georgia Southern Eagles, who downed WCU in Statesboro earlier this season. Tip-off is set for 7:00 pm.
Fans are asked to help support the WCU Football team as it collects pop-top canned good and other non-perishable items for the earthquake victims in Haiti.