A decade ago BracketBusters hit the scene and immediately captivated college basketball fans. The concept was simple: capitalize on the connotation "bracket buster" with a late season event which showcased many of the smaller programs around the nation. Within three years over 100 different teams were involved. But as the event grew it was eroded from the inside by the failure to get participation from conferences like the A10 and premier teams like Gonzaga. With the travel involved a lot of the games were more of a nuisance for the programs than a chance to build a more impressive resume.
Today, it all comes to an end.
There's one game being played today that really fits the vision of the original event. Creighton travels across the country to take on St. Mary's.
This game has it all. Both are coming off 2012 trips to the NCAA Tournament. Both teams have stars. Creighton's Doug McDermott and St. Mary's Matthew Dellavedova are both in line for national post-season recognition. Most importantly, both teams need to win this game.
Bracket Matrix currently has Creighton as a 10-seed in the NCAA Tournament, and St. Mary's just sneaking in as a 12-seed. A win propels either team solidly into the tourney, while a loss could push them to the wrong side of the bubble.
This game also has entertainment potential off the charts. It features two offenses which are among the nation's top 10 - Creighton is No. 7 and the Gaels are No. 9 in offensive efficiency. The defenses - No. 87 and No. 89 respectively - leave a bit to be desired. So it should be an offensive battle with two of the most entertaining players in the nation leading the way.
St. Mary's is currently a 4.5 pt favorite, and the game tips at 6pm EST on ESPN.