Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 1/30/12

ESPN released their 2012 BracketBusters schedule which features some of the best mid-major programs in the country going head-to-head in hopes of improving their NCAA Tournament resume.  The headliner this year features the lone remaining unbeaten in college basketball, Murray State hosting Top 20 team, St. Mary’s.

The Racers have moved up to ninth in the latest rankings and should be able to roll through the remainder of their Ohio Valley Conference slate.  That means the only team likely standing in the way of an unblemished regular season will be the Gaels.

This game should feature an exceptional match-up at the point where Murray State’s Isaiah Canaan will square off with St. Mary’s Matthew Dellavedova.  Canaan is averaging 18.7 points per game and shooting 47% from distance while Dellavedova leads his team with 15.4 points per night.

The other marquee match-up features Missouri Valley Conference leader Creighton, who is currently 20-2 and ranked 13/12 in the country, hosting an experienced Long Beach State squad that has already played an insanely tough non-conference schedule.  The 49ers scored an upset win at Pitt earlier this season and a victory against a short-handed Xavier team.  LBSU played North Carolina and Kansas to single digit defeats, and lost in overtime to San Diego State.

Meanwhile, Creighton has rode the hot shooting of National Player of the Year Candidate, Doug McDermott, who is currently second in the country in scoring thanks to a 61.7 field goal percentage and the fact that he is hitting on half of his three-point attempts.

Here is the entire television schedule for the BracketBusters:

Friday, Feb. 17th
ESPN2 – 6 pm CT – Northern Iowa @ VCU
ESPNU – 8 pm CT – Valparaiso @ Loyola Marymount

Saturday, Feb. 18th
ESPNU – 10 am CT – Drexel @ Cleveland State
ESPN/ESPN2 – 11 am CT – Wichita State @ Davidson
ESPNU – 12 pm CT – Buffalo @ South Dakota State
ESPN/ESPN2 – 1 pm CT – Akron @ Oral Roberts
ESPNU – 2 pm CT –Drake @ New Mexico State
ESPN/ESPN2 – 3 pm CT – Nevada @ Iona
ESPNU – 4 pm CT – Old Dominion @ Missouri State
ESPN/ESPN2 –5 pm CT – Saint Mary’s @ Murray State
ESPN3 – 6 pm CT – UNC Asheville @ Ohio
ESPN3 – 7 pm CT – UT-Arlington @ Weber State
ESPN2 – 9 pm CT – Long Beach State @ Creighton

David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.  David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft on the web.

You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.

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