Feb. 1, 2010
DEKALB, Ill. -
The Northern Illinois men's basketball team will travel 220 miles southeast to Charleston, Ill., for its 2010 ESPNU BracketBusters contest, as the ESPN Family of Networks announced Monday that the Huskies will take on host Eastern Illinois on Saturday, Feb. 20, beginning at 6 p.m.
The Huskies (8-11, 4-3 MAC) will be playing in their fifth road game during the history of the BracketBusters series. NIU owns a 45-41 edge in the all-time series against Eastern Illinois, but the two teams have not gone head-to-head since the 2004-05 campaign (12/11/04). The Huskies are 1-1 versus teams affiliated with the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) this season, defeating visiting Tennessee State (85-57) on Nov. 20, before dropping a 70-64 overtime decision versus Southeast Missouri two days later (11/22/09).
The Panthers are 11-11 this season, 5-7 in the OVC, and have dropped six-of their last seven games. They are led by Tyler Laser, who is averaging a team-high 14.3 points per game. Eastern Illinois, which is 6-4 at home this season, is idle until Feb. 6, when the Panthers will take on Southeast Missouri in Cape Girardeau, Mo.
Eastern Illinois will represent the Huskies' ninth non-conference opponent from the state of Illinois in Ricardo Patton's era as head coach. As part of the ESPNU BracketBusters agreement, the Panthers will eventually return the game to the Convocation Center.
Dating back to the 2004-05 season, the Huskies are 1-3 in BracketBusters contests. The Huskies defeated host SEMO last season (2/21/09), 97-73.