Jan. 30, 2012
SAN BRUNO, Calif. -- Two West Coast Conference teams will participate in the 10th annual Sears BracketBusters - a two-day men's college basketball event pitting potential NCAA Tournament hopefuls against each other Feb. 17-18. On Monday, the entire Sears BracketBusters field was announced. No. 16 Saint Mary's (20-2) will visit No. 9 Murray State (21-0) in the field's marquee match-up. The Gaels will battle the nation's lone undefeated team on Feb. 18 at 6 p.m. EST in a nationally televised game on ESPN or ESPN2. Loyola Marymount (13-9) will host Valparaiso (15-8) in the first national TV contest in this year's event, as the Lions and Crusaders will tip off at 6 p.m. PST from Gersten Pavilion on February 17 on ESPNU.
Overall, the West Coast Conference is making its eighth appearance in the first nine years of the event. WCC teams are 6-4 in BracketBusters play since it began in 2003.
BracketBusters, named because of the success of the teams in NCAA Tournament play, will provide the teams an opportunity to play other top non-conference opponents three weeks before Selection Sunday.
This year's 142-team field is the largest in the event's history. The television package features teams from 14 conferences, including five from the Missouri Valley Conference; three from the Colonial Athletic Conference and Mid-American Conference; and two from Horizon League, Summit League, Western Athletic Conference and West Coast Conference.
As part of their participation in Sears BracketBusters, both Saint Mary's and LMU will enter a two-game contract with their opposition. Saint Mary's will host Murray State, and Loyola Marymount will visit Valparaiso on a future, mutually-agreeable date.