BRISTOL, Conn. - For the sixth time in nine years, an America East men's basketball team will be featured in Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters, ESPN's national television showcase, which pits NCAA mid-major hopefuls against each other. Vermont will host Canisius on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 1 p.m. on ESPN3 as part of the event, which was announced by ESPNU Monday evening.
Additionally, Albany, which was named to the BracketBusters pool in October, was matched up with Fairfield in a non-TV game and will face the Stags on the road. Date and time are to be announced.
“Congratulations to Vermont on its well-deserved selection for a Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters' TV game. Vermont has been one of country's elite mid-major programs for over a decade and has earned this opportunity to showcase its university and team on the national stage that BracketBusters and ESPN provides," said America East Commissioner Amy Huchthausen. "We are proud that an America East team has been selected to participate in a TV game in six of the last nine years. It's indicative of the quality coaches and outstanding student-athletes we have in this league."
Vermont (14-7, 7-2 America East), the reigning league champion, has won five of its last six games and sits in second place in America East, which is one of 13 conference represented in BracketBusters. The Catamounts, who are playing in their fourth Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters TV game, are one of five teams in the field that posted a win in the NCAA tournament last season. Canisius (15-8, 8-4 MAAC) is tied for second place in the MAAC and already had 10 more wins than last year's 5-25 squad.
This is America East's sixth BracketBuster television game in nine years and the fourth for Vermont. The Catamounts fell at College of Charleston, 85-70, in 2011 on ESPNU, but beat Buffalo, 78-70, in front of a soldout Patrick Gym on ESPN2 in 2009. Albany appeared on ESPNU twice, suffering an 83-82 loss at Boise State in 2007 after falling, 70-67, at Virginia Commonwealth in 2006. Vermont traveled to Nevada for the event’s marquee game on ESPN2 in 2005. The Catamounts dropped a 74-64 decision to the Wolfpack, but advanced to the NCAA Tournament two weeks later where they upset Syracuse, 60-57, in the first round.
The Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters field will feature 13
nationally televised games across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3, selected
from 122 eligible teams, giving 26 teams an opportunity to
play other top non-conference opponents three weeks before Selection Sunday.
Teams chosen for this year's Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters pool have
produced 101 appearances in the last seven NCAA Championships, including Albany in 2006 and 2007 and Vermont in 2010 and 2012