Aug. 8, 2002
The UC Santa Barbara men's basketball program has been selected to take part in the first Bracket Buster Saturday, presented by ESPN, it was announced today. The new one-day, nine-game event will match potential NCAA Tournament hopefuls against each other. The match-ups will be announced in early February and the games will be played on February 22, 2003.
UCSB, which advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season after winning the Big West Conference championship, is one of nine programs that have been designated a home team in the inaugural event.
"Bracket Buster Saturday will be a great showcase for college basketball," said Gaucho head coach Bob Williams. "We are honored to be a part of it and excited about playing a home game against an outstanding opponent. For UCSB to represent the Big West Conference in an event of this importance is a big step for our program."
Bracket Buster Saturday joins other ESPN college basketball franchise programming, including Rivalry Week and Championship week. Five of the nine games taking place on Bracket Buster Saturday will be televised by either ESPN or ESPN2.
Finally, in addition to UCSB, the other 17 schools set to play are Creighton, Gonzaga, Illinois-Chicago, Kent State, Louisiana Tech, Tulsa, Marshall, Southern Illinois, Western Kentucky, Ball State, Bowling Green, Detroit, Fresno State, Hawaii, Illinois State, Northern Iowa and Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The only pre-determined matchu-up is Tulsa visiting Gonzaga.