Jaspers to host UNC Wilmington in BracketBuster
RIVERDALE, N.Y. - The Manhattan men's basketball team will host the University of North Carolina Wilmington on Saturday, February 18 for its 2012 Sears BracketBuster contest. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Draddy Gymnasium.
Manhattan (16-7, 9-2 MAAC) will meet the Seahawks for the third time in program history. The Jaspers first met UNC Wilmington on Dec. 30, 1995 earning a 69-62 overtime victory in Riverdale under the direction of head coach Fran Fraschilla. Manhattan returned the game the following season with first year head coach John Leonard at the helm as UNC Wilmington won a 64-58 decision.
UNC Wilmington (8-13, 4-7 CAA) will be the Jaspers fourth opponent this season from the Colonial Athletic Association. Manhattan picked up wins at Hofstra and Towson earlier this year, before falling at George Mason. The Jaspers are 50-34 all-time versus the 12 current members of the CAA.
The Seahawks are coached by Buzz Peterson who is in his second season at the helm. UNC Wilmington is led by junior forward Keith Rendleman who was a Second-Team Preseason All-Conference selection. The 6'8" 213-pound product of Denver, N.C. is averaging a double-double (15.2 points, 10.9 rebounds) in 21 starts this season. Seahawks freshman guard Adam Smith has posted 15.1 points per game and he leads the team with 46 three-pointers.
ESPN's Sears BracketBuster concept, named because of the success of teams from the participating conferences in the NCAA Tournament over the past years, provides participating programs with an opportunity to play top non-conference opponents approximately three weeks prior to Selection Sunday. All 10 members of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference participate in the event and each pairing was determined by ESPN in conjunction with the conferences. The 2012 Sears BracketBuster features the largest pool in event history with 142 teams from 16 conferences participating. As part of the BracketBusters agreement, Manhattan will travel to UNC Wilmington during either the 2012-13 or 2013-14 season.
Manhattan has won its BracketBuster contests the last three seasons with two of the three victories coming against CAA opponents. The Jaspers knocked off Stony Brook last year, after taking down Towson (2010) and William & Mary (2009) the previous two seasons. Manhattan is 4-4 in BracketBuster contests.