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Utah State, Weber State, SUU basketball: ESPN BracketBusters announced

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 5 2013 12:48 p.m. MST

LOGAN — Utah State men's basketball will host Illinois State of the Missouri Valley Conference during the annual ESPN Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. (MT), in a non-televised game.

Utah State is 5-2 overall in BracketBusters, playing in a non-televised game for the second year in a row after five-straight years of being televised on the ESPN networks.

USU lost to UC Santa Barbara, 72-64, in last season's BracketBusters game at home, after winning its previous two BracketBusters games, including winning at No. 24 Saint Mary's, 75-65, in 2011. USU also defeated Wichita State (68-58) at home during the 2009-10 season, lost at Saint Mary's (75-64) in 2008-09, defeated UC Santa Barbara (72-59) at home during the 2007-08 season, won at Oral Roberts (71-65) during the 2006-07 campaign, and defeated Northwestern State (66-63) at home during the 2005-06 season.

The Redbirds of Illinois State are 13-10 overall and 4-7 in MVC action after routing Southern Illinois, 83-47, on Saturday. USU hosted Southern Illinois on Dec. 22, 2012, during the World Vision Challenge, sponsored by Gossner Foods.

Illinois State has won four of its last five games after snapping a six-game losing streak. The Redbirds are 3-5 on the road this season, losing four of their last five away games. ISU is led by senior forward Jackie Carmichael, a returning second-team all-MVC selection, who is averaging 17.9 points and 9.4 rebounds per game, adding 2.0 blocks per game. Senior guard Tyler Brown adds 15.5 ppg, dishing out 2.4 assists and 1.5 steals per game.

WILDCATS FACE ORAL ROBERTS: Weber State will take on Oral Roberts in an ESPN Ramada Bracketbusters game. The Wildcats and Golden Eagles will meet Sat., Feb. 23 at 6:30 p.m. MST in Tulsa, Okla.

Weber State's game will not be televised.

Oral Roberts is 14-8 overall and is 9-1 in Southland Conference games, currently tied for first in the league standings. The Golden Eagles have won six straight and nine of their last 10 games. They are led by senior Warren Niles who is 23rd in the nation in scoring at 19.2 points per game. ORU is coached by Scott Sutton who is in his 12th season as head coach. He is the son of legendary college basketball coach Eddie Sutton.

This will be the fifth matchup ever between the two schools with the all-time series tied 2-2.

As part of the Bracketbusters agreement, Oral Roberts will play a return game in Ogden in 2013-14.

T-BIRDS HOST MATADORS: The TBA was removed from Southern Utah University's 2012-13 men's basketball schedule as it was announced the Thunderbirds will host Cal State Northridge in the BracketBuster tournament on Feb. 23, at 7:35 p.m. in the Centrum.

The two teams have a bit of a history as the Thunderbirds and Matadors competed against each other in basketball in the American West Conference during the 1994-95 and 1995-96 seasons.

Northridge currently has an overall record of 12-11, including a 3-8 mark in Big West Conference play. The Matadors are in ninth place in the BWC heading into this week's play.

SUU holds a 13-5 edge in the series with CSUN, including an 8-0 mark at home, but the teams haven't met since 1995, when the Thunderbirds beat the Matadors, 57-54, in the semifinals of the AWC tournament.

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