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Inside look at high school and Oakland University sports from Oakland Press sports writer Dave Pemberton.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Bracketbusters thoughts

The ESPN bracketbusters pairing were announced yesterday and North Dakota State will play at Wisconsin-Milwaukee and South Dakota State will play at Cal Poly. Neither will be a televised game.

Now I know Oral Roberts has participated in this before and now NDSU and SDSU are this year. The question is how do teams get picked? When will Oakland get a chance? What about IUPUI, which won 26 games last year? Why all of a sudden is Oral Roberts, the three-time defending champion, no longer involved? I don’t have an answer, but I sure hope it’s not because the Summit League won’t accommodate the organizers of the bracketbusters.

Teams don’t want to play three games in a week during the conference season so it appears NDSU and SDSU were picked because they play just one game the week of bracketbusters this season. No I don’t know if the Summit League planned it that way or it just happened to work out that way. The answer doesn’t really matter because the league should be offering all of its teams for this. The entire Mid-American Conference and Horizon League are part of this and accommodate it. So why not the entire Summit League? Now I know the organizers might not want the whole league, but I’m sure they would rather have Oral Roberts, IUPUI and Oakland than some of the teams involved.

The Summit League is unique because there is more travel involved, but the bracketbusters is a great opportunity because even if you don’t get a TV or home game, you are guaranteed a home game the following year with the team you go play. The Summit League needs to do whatever it can to have as many of its teams as possible in it, not just make two teams available. Maybe I’m off-base on this, but it’s just a thought I had when I looked at the RPI of some of the teams involved. I’m curious how other people feel about this?

Update: Looked into it a little further and the entire WAC, Metro Atlantic, Big West, Missouri Valley, Colonial and Ohio Valley participate in this. Teams with RPIs in the 300s like SE Missouri St. (333), Northern Illinois (331) and Eastern Michigan (330) are in it.

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Blogger The D Man said...

Agreed. Seems to me that The Summit League should want all of its teams to be involved, and at the very least, the most competitive teams that we have to offer. Oral Roberts and IUPUI should be hosting home games after last year, etc.

I would like to see the Dakotas win, though.

February 3, 2009 at 12:46 PM 
Blogger Dave Pemberton said...


I also hope the Dakotas win both games so maybe the Summit League will get more teams in it next year. I thought NDSU deserved a TV game, but they didn't get it.

February 3, 2009 at 3:28 PM 
Anonymous Rich said...

From the SDSU beat writer, via the sieve that is my memory:

ESPN approached NDSU, NDSU agreed, but apparently needed to reschedule their game with SDSU to accommodate. Therefore, ESPN invited SDSU as well.

Thanks to the stellar play of Woodside, NDSU was considered as a possible candidate for a televised game (well, at least the folks in Fargo thought it possible), but no soap. Neither game is televised.

Not sure if ESPN ever contacted Summit HQ about it.

IMO, the Summit needs to stop 1) hiring high school refs and 2) keep scheduling tough OOC schools.

February 7, 2009 at 10:45 PM 

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