Wolf Pack to play BracketBuster at Missouri State | NevadaAppeal.com

Wolf Pack to play BracketBuster at Missouri State

Joe Santoro
For the Nevada Appeal

The Nevada Wolf Pack men’s basketball team is going to have a busy week away from home in the last week of February.

The Wolf Pack learned Monday afternoon that it will play at Missouri State on Feb. 20 in an ESPN BracketBuster game. The game, against the 15-7 Bears of the Missouri Valley Conference, will be televised on ESPN2 at noon (PT).

The Wolf Pack (13-8) will now play three grueling road games in a span of eight days later this month: Feb. 20 at Missouri State, Feb. 25 at San Jose State and Feb. 27 at Hawaii.

The Wolf Pack, which will next play at Utah State on Saturday night, is 5-1 in BracketBuster games since the series started in February 2004. The Pack beat Toledo (60-58) in 2004, Vermont (74-64) in 2005, Akron (88-61) in 2006, Northern Iowa (79-64) in 2007 and Virginia Commonwealth (71-70) last February. All of those victories were at Lawlor Events Center.

The Pack’s lone BracketBusters loss was at Southern Illinois (74-49) in 2008.

Missouri State is 3-3 in BracketBuster games. The Bears are currently 5-6 in the Missouri Valley Conference, tied for sixth with Indiana State and Bradley.

Missouri State is led by 6-foot-6 forward Kyle Weems (14.0 points, 5.8 rebounds) and guards Adam Leonard (12.0 points) and Jermaine Mallett (10.9 points, 5.6 rebounds). Leonard is the only player on the roster who averages more than 30 minutes a game.

Will Creekmore (6-9) averages 7.5 points a game and center Caleb Patterson (6-11) averages 7.3 points a game.

The Bears started the season 10-0 but have lost seven of their last 12 games. Four of their losses, however, have come by four points or less.

The Wolf Pack is just one of four Western Athletic Conference teams that will play a nationally televised BracketBuster game on Feb. 20. Louisiana Tech will host Northeastern on ESPN2 at 10 a.m. (PT), New Mexico State will be at Pacific at 7 p.m. (PT) on ESPNU and Utah State will host Wichita State on ESPN2 at 9 p.m.

As part of the BracketBusters series agreement, Missouri state will play a game at Nevada during the 2011-12 season.