Weber State, UT-Arlington snag ESPN3 slot for Bracketbusters matchup

Weber State scored one of the coveted national TV matchups for the 2012 ESPN Bracketbusters series announced Monday afternoon — sort of.

The Wildcats will face future WAC member UT-Arlington on Saturday, Feb. 18, at 6 p.m. MT, in a game that will be broadcast on ESPN3, the World Wide Leader’s online streaming service available to people who have a certain TV or internet provider:

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The UT-Arlington Mavericks and the Wildcats have never met in hoops.

Both schools issued releases after the announcement on ESPNU.


Weber State will host the University of Texas-Arlington on Saturday, Feb. 18 in a Sears Bracketbusters game. The Wildcats and Mavericks will tipoff at 6:00 p.m. on Feb. 18 from the Dee Events Center and the game will be televised on ESPN3.

The Wildcats currently sit at 16-4 overall and 8-1 in Big Sky play. Junior Damian Lillard leads the nation in scoring at 24.4 points per game for head coach Randy Rahe’s squad.

The Mavericks are currently 15-5 on the season and 7-0 in the Southland Conference and have won 11 straight games. Their last loss came on Dec. 20 when they lost 73-69 at Utah State. Senior LaMarcus Reed leads the team and is fourth in the conference in scoring at 16.1 points per game. UT-Arlington is coached by Scott Cross who is in his sixth season as head coach. They are currently ranked 19th in the latest Mid-Major poll with Weber State ranked 17th. The Mavericks will join the Western Athletic Conference this summer.

This will be the first ever meeting between the two schools. The Wildcats are 1-3 all-time against teams currently in the Southland Conference.

Per the BracketBusters agreement, the teams paired against each other this year must return a regular-season game in either 2012-13, or 2013-14.

The Sears Bracketbusters is in its 10th season and includes 142 schools from across the country, including all nine Big Sky Conference schools competing. A total of 13 games are televised nationally.

From UT-Arlington’s website:

Jan. 30, 2012

Arlington, Texas – UT Arlington will travel to Weber State to take on the Wildcats in the Sears BracketBusters on Feb. 18 at (6 p.m.) on ESPN3. The Mavericks are 15-5 overall and lead the Southland Conference at 7-0. Weber State is 16-4 overall and 8-1 in the Big Sky.

This is the first meeting between UTA and Weber State.

“I’m super excited about having opportunity to showcase our program on ESPN3,” UTA coach Scott Cross said. “I’ve heard a lot of great things about Weber State. I know they’re an extremely fundamentally-sound basketball team. We’re looking forward to showing what we’re made of.”

The 10th annual Sears BracketBusters is a three-day men’s college basketball event pitting potential NCAA Championship hopefuls against each other Feb. 17-19. It will feature 13 nationally televised games on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3. The NCAA hopefuls were selected from a pool of 142 teams from 16 conferences making it the largest Sears BracketBusters pool in the event’s history.

UTA is No. 19 in this week’s Mid-Major Top 25 poll, while Weber State checks in at No. 17. The Mavericks are No. 93 in the USA Today Sagarin rankings.

The television matchups were selected by ESPN, while a committee of conference commissioners determined the additional non-televised games. Sears BracketBusters provides the 26 televised teams an opportunity to play other top non-conference opponents three weeks before Selection Sunday.

The 142-team field features teams from 16 conferences: 12 each from Colonial Athletic Association, Mid-American Conference and Southland; 11 each from Ohio Valley Conference and Big South; 10 each from Horizon League, Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, Missouri Valley and Summit League; nine each from America East, Big Sky and Big West; eight from the Western Athletic Association; four from the Southern Conference; three from the MEAC; and two from the West Coast Conference.

As part of the agreement, all 13 of the Sears BracketBusters home teams in televised games, as well as the remaining 58 home squads, will play a return game at the home facility of their opponent in November or December of the 2013-14 season.

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One Response to Weber State, UT-Arlington snag ESPN3 slot for Bracketbusters matchup

  1. RoyBoy says:

    A must win for future tournament aspirations, eh?

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