Feb. 4, 2013
Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina learned Monday night that it will host directional rival Coastal Carolina out of the Big South Conference in this year's Ramada Worldwide BracketBuster game to be played on-campus in the Ramsey Center on Saturday, Feb. 23. Tip-off is scheduled for 2:00 pm.
As part of the agreement, all of the home squads will play a return game at the home facility of their opponent in November or December of the 2013-14 season.
The 11th annual BracketBusters is a two-day men's college basketball event pitting potential NCAA Championship hopefuls against each other Feb. 22-23, and will feature 13 nationally televised games across ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3. The NCAA hopefuls will be selected from a pool of 122 teams from 15 conferences. ESPN2 will feature five BracketBusters games, while ESPNU and ESPN3 will each house four games.
WCU is one of four teams from the Southern Conference participating in this year's 11th-annual Ramada Worldwide BracketBuster, all playing on Saturday, Feb. 23. The College of Charleston will host Gardner-Webb (TBA) while The Citadel travels to Presbyterian for a 7:45 pm tip. Davidson will entertain Montana at 3:00 pm on Feb. 23 in the league's lone televised game on ESPNU.
The SoCon, which has had at least two teams participate in the event every year since 2004, has an all-time record of 19-14 in BracketBuster games with the home team posting an 11-4 mark.
This season marks the third time that Western Carolina has participated in the BracketBuster, an event created by ESPN. The Catamounts hold a 1-1 overall record including one home win.
In 2010, WCU visited Kent State in the M.A.C. Center where the home standing Golden Flashes withstood a late push by the Catamounts, edging WCU, 74-72, before an ESPNU audience. The following season, Western Carolina hosted Eastern Kentucky in a non-televised game, pulling off a seven-point, 81-74, victory over the Colonels in the Ramsey Center.
Western Carolina trails in the all-time series with Coastal Carolina, 2-4, with the most recent meeting on the hardwood back in November of 2002 in the season-opener of the 2002-03 season. The series dates back to 1988 with the Catamounts winning two of the first three meetings, but the Chanticleers (10-10, 5-4 Big South) have claimed the three most recent encounters.
The BracketBuster match-up between the Catamounts and Chanticleers pits two of the winningest active NCAA head coaches against on another. WCU's Larry Hunter ranks 11th among active NCAA Division I head coaches with 624 career victories at the time of the announcement of the game, while Coastal's Cliff Ellis is just ahead of Hunter in 10th with 643 head coaching wins.
Currently amidst a three-game road swing, Western Carolina (8-14, 5-5 SoCon) travels to SoCon South Division-leading, Davidson, on Thursday night at the Belk Arena before heading to Statesboro, Ga., for a Saturday evening game against Georgia Southern.