Lewiston - (WKBW/Niagara University) The Niagara Purple Eagles will face the Northwestern State Demons in the 11th annual Ramada WorldWide BracketBusters on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 3 p.m. broadcasting live on ESPN3 from the Gallagher Center.
Niagara (14-9) was selected for a televised Brackebusters game for the first time since 2009, when the Purple Eagles defeated Illinois State 70-56 in front of a sold-out Gallagher Center on ESPN2.
NU’s opponent in the last edition of the BracketBusters is Northwestern State. The Demons are 14-6 and are in third place with an 8-2 in the Southland Conference. NSU is the nation’s highest scoring team at 83.9 points per game and has four players averaging in double-digit scoring led by DeQuan Hicks at 15.1 points per game.
The Purple Eagles, who are in first place in the MAAC with a 10-2 record, will play Northwestern State for the first time in program history.
Niagara is 5-3 all-time in the BracketBusters since first participating during the 2004-05 season. The Purple Eagles had won five straight in the series until falling last season on the road to eventual America East champion Vermont.
All-Time Record In BracketBusters (5-3)
2012 – Niagara 70, Vermont 92
2011 – Central Michigan 55, Niagara 61
2010 – Niagara 85, Milwaukee 79
2009 – Illinois State 56, Niagara 70
2008 – Niagara 76, Appalachian State 75
2007 – Liberty 81, Niagara 90
2006 – Niagara 82, Valparaiso 88
2005 – Niagara 68, Akron 74
The BracketBusters concept, named because of the success of participating teams from these conferences in NCAA Championship play through the years, provides programs with an opportunity to play top non-conference opponents roughly three weeks before Selection Sunday. Each conference selects its participating teams before the season, and the matchups for the event are determined by ESPN in conjunction with the conferences. BracketBusters is an example of ESPN college basketball franchise programming. Others include Rivalry Week, Feast Week Presented by Lowe’s, Holiday Hoops Presented by Kay Jewelers, Bracket Builder Week and Championship Week Presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods.