Hawaii draws UC Irvine


POSTED: Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The Hawaii men's basketball team will host UC Irvine in next month's ESPN BracketBusters event, the Western Athletic Conference announced yesterday.





        Hawaii is 3-3 in BracketBusters games:



2003At Kent StateW, 79-78
2004At Southern IllinoisL, 66-62
2005Wisconsin-MilwaukeeL, 87-81
2006Santa ClaraW, 67-57
2007at Long Beach StateW, 93-78
2008at UC RiversideL, 79-62



As expected, Hawaii (10-11, 2-7 WAC) was not selected for one of 13 nationally televised games on the ESPN networks for the Feb. 21 competition. Those games go to the teams with the highest RPI in the total field of 102. WAC schools Nevada (vs. Virginia Commonwealth), Boise State (at Portland State) and No. 25 Utah State (at Saint Mary's) were awarded ESPN games.

The Anteaters are 7-14 overall and 4-4 in the Big West Conference. UH is 1-1 this season against Big West teams, with a loss to Cal State Fullerton and a victory over UC Riverside (in a BracketBusters return game from last season).

Hawaii will make a return-game trip to UCI next season. The matchup is not a surprise with a greater emphasis being placed on regional play this year.

“;I think it's a good matchup for us, I don't know a whole lot about Irvine at this point in time, but now that we know who we're playing, we can gather information and find out more about them,”; Hawaii coach Bob Nash said. “;The return game is one that's not going to be a long trip (to California) ... as opposed to going somewhere deep into the mainland.”;

UH is 3-1 against Irvine, with the last meeting a loss to UCI in 1984. The Rainbows are 3-3 in six years of BracketBusters games, including 1-1 at the Stan Sheriff Center.