By Bob Flynn
Register Sports Writer
MADISON COUNTY —
The Colonels (17-6, 7-3 OVC) step outside the Ohio Valley Conference today when they take on Crowley’s Ridge College at 7 p.m. in McBrayer Arena.
The game can be heard on WCYO FM 100.7.
EKU is coming off a 81-72 come-from-behind victory over Southeast Missouri State on Saturday.
Sophomore Eric Stutz was a big part of the win over the Skyhawks, posting his first career double-double, finishing with 12 points, 11 rebounds and a career-high seven blocked shots.
Glenn Cosey had a team-high 21 points on four three-pointers and 9-for-10 shooting from the free throw line.
Cosey was the Adidas Ohio Valley Conference Newcomer of the Week for his performances against the Redhawks and his 20 point, four assist, three rebound, two steal game at UT-Martin. It was the fifth time this season that Cosey has received the award.
Crowley’s Ridge College is one of 60 members of the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA). The Pioneers have a 7-17 record. CRC fell to Tennessee Tech, 107-32, in November.
Josh Longino, a 6-foot-2 guard, leads the team in scoring (11.3 ppg). He’s shot 40 percent from the field, but has attempted only four three-pointers. Javeon Walker, a 5-foot-10 guard, contributes 9.3 points per contest. Skylor Blackler, a 7-foot sophomore forward, is the team’s top rebounder (6.8 rpg).
Crowley’s Ridge averages 66 points and allows 85 per game. The Pioneers have shot 39 percent from the field and have allowed opponents to make 46 percent. CRC commits 17 turnovers per contest.
This will be the first-ever meeting between the two teams.
Colonels to play Valparaiso in Bracketbuster
The Eastern Kentucky University’s men’s basketball team will play at Valparaiso University on ESPNU in the 2013 ESPN Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters.
The game will be held on Feb. 23 at 1 p.m.
The Crusaders are 17-6 as well and 7-2 in the Horizon League. Valpo leads its conference and currently has an RPI of 93. EKU is in second place in the OVC East and carries an RPI of 83.
EKU is 4-3 all-time in BracketBusters games and is appearing in its first BracketBusters TV matchup. Overall EKU has won four of its last five BracketBusters games, including beating IPFW 78-69 last season.
For the eighth-straight year every OVC school is participating in the event. Six OVC schools will host games this year while six will go on the road. Out of the pool of 122 teams, three OVC teams (Belmont, Eastern Kentucky and Murray State) were among the 26 teams chosen for one of 13 television games across the ESPN Family of Networks. This marks the first time that more than one OVC team has been picked for a BracketBusters television game in the same year.
In its 11th year, Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters is an ESPN television property that was tremendously successful with its first 10 events. The event has allowed Division I conferences to participate in a cutting-edge format that involves “wild card” pairings from the pool of participating teams, with half of the BracketBusters teams pre-designated as “home” and the remaining half as “road” teams.
What sets BracketBusters apart from the other made-for-television events is that the pairings of teams is not pre-determined. The actual pairings take place three weeks in advance of the event, and those matchups are determined on the basis of regular season play. Another important component for Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters participants is future scheduling. Each team that participates in any given year agrees to enter into a home-and-home series with its to-be-named opponent. The return game allows for the completion of the two-game series contract and is not part of the BracketBusters event in that second year.
The evaluation and pairings of teams for the ESPN television package are made by the staff of ESPN, in consultation with the commissioners of participating conferences. Consideration is given to avoiding matchups of conference teams and matchups of any teams that have already met during the current season.
ESPN announced in December this will be the final year of the BracketBusters event.