Akron Zips coach Keith Dambrot doesn’t believe we’ve seen the last of ESPN’s two-day college hoopsfest known as Sears BracketBusters which featured teams from lesser NCAA conferences with NCAA Tournament aspirations..
ESPN announced earlier this week that the event would end after the Feb. 22-23, 2013 games (Akron plays on the 23rd against an opponent to be determined) features more than 122 teams from 13 conferences, according to an ESPN report.
“BracketBusters has been a unique event for 11 years, producing memorable games and moments while generating national exposure for the participating schools and conferences,” the ESPN statement said. “Given the evolving college landscape, we felt the event in its present form has run its course. We'll continue to work with our conference partners to develop new, creative events to further grow the sport. Our goal is to maintain the BracketBusters brand in some fashion in the future.”
Notice that ESPN gives itself wiggle room to do something else with that statement and that is what Dambrot is expecting.
“I like BracketBusters,” he said. “I've talked to no one, but the way that article was written, it seems like there's going to be a modified version of it. My guess is, and maybe I'm wrong, is maybe it's only going to be the best teams.”
But how is that determined?
“It's not hard. Everybody knows who the best teams in everybody's league are for the most part. It's not exact, but everybody knows Murray State is the best team in the OVC, Creighton and Illinois State in the Missouri Valley,” he said. “You know basically who the best teams in the MAC, so that's my guess. But I could be totally off base.”
But if he’s not off base, that would leave a lot of other schools in the cold. Here’s guessing that the Worldwide Leader plans to be careful and meticulous with respect to how they restructure the event, if they restructure it.
And there’s every reason to believe the much hyped and anticipated event will return in some form. Otherwise, a lot of college students won’t have a reason to paint their faces and mug for cameras for a weekend in February.