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Flames to Compete in 2012 Sears BracketBusters
The Liberty men's basketball team has been tabbed as one of 142 Division I participants in the 2012 Sears BracketBusters, as announced by ESPN, recently. The event will be held the weekend of Feb. 17-19, marking the Flames' second-straight appearance in the series and fourth in program history.
Last season, Liberty competed in one of the 11 nationally-televised matchups during the 2011 Sears BracketBusters, hosting Iona on ESPNU (Feb. 19, 2011). This year, the Flames will compete as a road team for the third time since joining the series, taking on a squad yet to be determined.
"We are looking forward to playing in this year's BracketBusters matchup," commented Liberty Head Men's Basketball Coach Dale Layer. "It is a national event with great exposure for our team. We are honored to be back in the series."
All of the Big South's men's basketball programs are participating in the same year for the first time, and the conference has the second-most members competing of the 16 leagues involved this season. Five Big South teams will host a game while the remaining six members will play on the road. The 11 Big South members are among the overall field of 142 teams, the event's largest pool ever, that will compete for one of the 13 Sears BracketBusters nationally-televised games.
The 13 nationally-televised match-ups will be announced Jan. 30, with five airing on ESPNU. ESPN or ESPN2 will televise up to six games, while ESPN3.com will carry two. The remaining 58 games will not be televised by the ESPN family of networks and those teams will be paired for games the same weekend. Each team that hosts a Sears BracketBusters game must schedule a return date in November or December of the 2013-14 season.
The Big South is 8-16 all-time in the BracketBusters, including two wins in 2006, 2007 and 2010. The conference also has been selected for national television appearances four times in the past five years: 2007 (ESPN2), 2008 (ESPN2), 2009 (ESPNU) and 2011 (ESPNU). Winthrop has made the most BracketBusters appearances among the Big South members with six, and is 3-3 in the series.