Broncos Draw Pacific for 2013 Bracketbuster Game
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - It was announced this evening that the Western Michigan men's basketball team will host Pacific of the Big West Conference in the 2013 Bracketbuster game. The game, which will be featured on ESPN3, will be played on Saturday, February 23 at 2 p.m. at University Arena. The Broncos are one of three Mid-American Conference teams to appear on television in this year's event, joining Akron (home against North Dakota State) and Ohio (away at Belmont).
Pacific is currently 13-8 overall on the season, with a 7-2 record in Big West play. The Tigers have won five of their last six games and rank second in the Big West, 1.5 games back of conference-leading Long Beach State. The Tigers rank 114th in the most recent NCAA RPI release, while the Broncos are currently ranked 91st in the rankings. Western Michigan is one of three teams in the MAC to rank in the top-100 in RPI, along with Akron and Ohio.
This will be the fifth all-time meeting between the Broncos and the Tigers, with Pacific holding a 3-1 advantage in the all-time series. The first meeting between the teams was also the only one played at University Arena; Pacific narrowly edged Western Michigan 77-75 on Dec. 6, 1969. The Broncos lost the only meeting between the two teams since Steve Hawkins became the head coach at WMU; the Tigers beat the Broncos 90-76 on Nov. 10, 2007, at the World Vision Invitational tournament, hosted by Oregon.
The Broncos are 4-5 all-time in Bracketbuster games - all of which were played under Hawkins - starting with an exciting 83-78 overtime victory over the College of Charleston on Feb. 21, 2004 at University Arena. The Broncos are 3-2 in home Bracketbuster games, with the other victories coming against Valparaiso (2007) and Illinois State (2011).