CONWAY, S.C. - Coastal Carolina's men's basketball squad will host Metro-Atlantic Athletic Conference member Canisius, Sat., Feb. 17 as part of O'Reilly's ESPNU BracketBusters, it was announced today. Time of the game will be announced in the coming days.
"This is a great opportunity for our men's basketball program to be part of this ever-improving event," CCU Athletic Director Warren "Moose" Koegel said. "We are excited to be playing Canisius and that we will get to play their next year, close to the family of guard Jack Leasure, as he is from Rochester. We hope to announce a definite game time in the next several days."
The Chanticleers (11-10, 4-4 Big South) are making their first-ever appearance in the event in the program's first-ever meeting with the Golden Griffins (11-10, 6-5 MAAC). CCU is 1-0 all-time vs. MAAC members, defeating Marist in 2003-04. Canisius played in the mid-season event last year, defeating Youngstown State at home, 75-68. This season, the Big South is 2-0 against the MAAC, with wins over Iona (Winthrop) and Loyola (High Point).
There are two other Big South squads in the event, as Liberty will travel Sat., Feb. 17, to Niagara, also of MAAC, and Winthrop was selected Monday night to play at Missouri State in one of the 14 televised broadcasts. The Eagles will play Friday night, Feb. 16, and their game time and network assignment will be confirmed within the next week. Last season, the Big South Conference went 2-1 in its debut with wins from Winthrop and UNC Asheville.
The OReilly ESPNU BracketBusters concept provides participating programs with an opportunity to play top non-conference opponents approximately three weeks prior to Selection Sunday. Each conference selected their participating teams months prior to the beginning of the season and the match-ups for the event were determined by ESPNU in conjunction with the conferences.
Winthrop, Coastal Carolina and Liberty will also benefit from another important component of their participation future scheduling. Each team that participates any given year agrees to enter into a home-and-home series with its opponent. The return game of each series is made the following November or December; this return games allows for the completion of the two-game series contract and is not part of the event in that second year.