Panthers Draw North Dakota State For BracketBusters
Feb. 2, 2009
MILWAUKEE - The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee men's basketball team will play host to Summit League leader North Dakota State in a BracketBusters contest Sat., Feb. 21.
The game pits two teams that have combined to win 30 games already this season, but the contest was not picked up as one of the ESPN-network broadcasts. It will start at 7 p.m. at the U.S. Cellular Arena.
UWM (14-8, 9-3 Horizon) starts the week just behind Green Bay for second place in the Horizon League. The Panthers have won 11 of their last 15 games, including a thrilling, come-from-behind victory over UIC Saturday. Tone Boyle leads Milwaukee in scoring at 14.9 points per game, while Avery Smith adds 12.4 points per contest.
Meanwhile, North Dakota State (16-5) is 10-1 in the Summit League and currently has an eight-game winning streak. Ben Woodside averages 23.7 points per game and scored 60 in a loss to Stephen F. Austin earlier this season. The Bison average 81.5 points per game and shoot nearly 49 percent from the floor as a team. NDSU owns a win at Wisconsin during the 2005-06 season and at Marquette early in the 2006-07 campaign.
The matchup also involves a number of intriguing local ties.
Bison head coach Saul Phillips spent two years as an assistant coach at UWM before heading to Wisconsin for three seasons. NDSU assistant Will Ryan is a graduate of UWM after playing for his dad, Bo, and Bruce Pearl as a Panther. Plus, NDSU director of operations Dan Weisse played four seasons in Milwaukee, helping UWM to its first-ever NCAA Tournament berth in 2003.
This is the seventh year UWM is participating in the BracketBusters event. The BracketBusters event also includes a return game for the Panthers in Fargo next season.
UWM's BracketBusters History