The University of Nevada men’s basketball team will play host to Virginia Commonwealth University on Friday, Feb. 20 at Lawlor Events Center in the ESPNU BracketBusters.
The game time and network televising the Wolf Pack’s game with the Rams will be announced on Monday, Feb. 9.
In addition, the Nevada women’s basketball team will move its “Pack It With Pink” game with Idaho to Thursday, Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. at Lawlor Events Center. The Wolf Pack is hosting its “Pack It With Pink” night to raise money for the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund. Nevada will be wearing its pink uniforms and any fans who wear pink will receive free admission to the game.
Nevada head men’s and women’s basketball coaches Mark Fox and Jane Albright will each donate $1 per fan in attendance at the Feb. 19 women’s basketball game to the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund, while Nevada’s cheerleaders will be selling raffle tickets with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the fund.
This year will mark Nevada’s sixth appearance in the ESPNU BracketBusters, an event which was created in 2003 in conjunction with the Western Athletic Conference, ESPN and several other top college basketball conferences to match potential NCAA Tournament hopefuls against each other. This year will mark the fifth time in Nevada’s six appearances that the Wolf Pack will play at home in the ESPNU BracketBusters, while the team has turned in a 4-1 record in its previous five BracketBusters appearances (4-0 at home).
ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN360.com will combine to televise the 13-game, 26-team event on Feb. 20-21. Six games will appear on ESPN2, five on ESPNU and the remaining two on ESPN360.com.
As part of the BracketBusters agreement, Nevada will travel to Richmond, Va., to play at VCU in 2008-09.
Under the direction of third-year head coach Anthony Grant, Virginia Commonwealth has turned in a 16-6 record this season and checks in at second in the Colonial Athletic Association standings with a 9-2 league mark. The Rams are led by 6-3, 175-pound senior guard Eric Maynor who is first in the CAA and ranks 10th in the nation in scoring at 23.2 points per game. Sophomore forward Larry Sanders (6-10, 220) paces the Rams and is third in the CAA with 7.3 rebounds per game and ranks second on the squad with 10.6 points per contest.
The Rams turned in a 24-8 record last season en route to their second consecutive Colonial Athletic Association regular-season championship and earned a bid to the National Invitational Tournament. In 2006-07, VCU racked up a school-record 28-7 overall mark, won CAA regular-season and tournament championships and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
“We’re certainly excited to be a part of the ESPNU BracketBusters again, and we’re excited about playing on the nation’s premier television network,” Nevada head coach Mark Fox said. “We are playing a very good VCU team, a team that understands winning. Eric Maynor is a terrific player. I have enjoyed watching him play the last few years.”
The WAC will have three teams competing in this year’s ESPNU BracketBusters. In addition to Nevada’s game with VCU, Utah State will play at Utah State and Boise State will travel to Portland State with both of those games set for Saturday, Feb. 21.
The other six WAC teams not selected to compete in the O’Reilly ESPNU BracketBusters will play non-conference opponents on that weekend.