Big West teams and the 'bracket racket'
Every Big West team knows the score: There’s only one way into the NCAA men’s basketball tournament this season, and that’s by winning the Big West tournament.
Still, Long Beach State landed one of the 13 televised games in the ESPN BracketBuster pairings announced Monday, a neat feat a season after going 6-25.
Figure the appeal of Dan Monson -- the coach who helped get the Gonzaga program rolling -- helped the 49ers, who are 11-9 and the surprise first-place team in the Big West at 6-2. They will host Green Bay, a 17-6 team from the Horizon League with an RPI of 79, far superior to Long Beach’s 149.
The Feb. 21 game will be shown by either ESPN2, ESPNU or ESPN360.
Among other Big West teams in the BracketBuster series, figure UC Irvine got the luck of the draw: The Anteaters will play in a non-televised game Feb. 21 against Hawaii.
-- Robyn Norwood