For the first time since the 2008 National Invitational Tournament (NIT), the Illinois State men’s basketball team will play Utah State, as the Redbirds will travel to Logan, Utah for a Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters game on Feb. 23. Tipoff for the non-televised game is scheduled for 8 p.m. CST.
Utah State, which is coached by Stew Morrill in his 27th season, is currently 16-5 and in fourth place in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC), with a 7-4 record. The Aggies advanced to the NCAA Tournament in three of the last four seasons, including eight times since 2000. They have also made it to the NIT four times under the direction of Morrill, including in 2008, when the Redbirds beat Utah State in the first round, 61-57, in Normal, Ill.
The Redbirds (13-10, 4-7 MVC, ninth) are 3-2 all-time against the Aggies, and 1-1 versus Utah State in Logan, Utah. Illinois State won its first matchup at Utah State, a first-round NIT game, 93-87 in overtime, on Mar. 16, 1995. ISU head coach Dan Muller contributed 11 points and five rebounds in the winning effort. The Redbirds lost their second game at Utah State, 89-84, on Nov. 29, 2003.
In the last meeting between the two teams, then-sophomore Osiris Eldridge poured in a team-high 14 points and then-sophomore Dinma Odiakosa added 11 points, as Illinois State defeated the Aggies, 61-57. No current Redbirds have played against Utah State.
Illinois State will enter the 2013 BracketBusters game against the Agies with a 7-3 record in previous BracketBusters matchups. ISU is 2-3 in BracketBusters road games, with the last Redbird road win occurring in 2005 at UW-Green Bay.
This is the 11th and final season of the Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters series, after it was announced in December that the event would be discontinued after 2013.
Article ISU Sports Information.