The Northern Iowa basketball team and the Missouri Valley Conference will be part of a new TV package that will feature several so-called mid-major” conferences in late season games against each other. Missouri Valley Conference assistant commissioner Jack Watkins says the “Bracket Busters” series will feature nine games. Five of the games will be televised nationally on ESPN or ESPN-2 and the other four games will be on regional television. Watkins says Valley teams will play teams from the Mid-American Conference, Horizon League, Western Athletic Conference, West Coast Conference, Big West Conference, and Sun Belt Conference. Watkins says this will give the schools more national exposure, but he doesn’t think it’ll have a big impact when it’s time for the NCAA tournament. Watkins says it’s hard for the best teams in his league to get teams from the so-called “major” conferences to play them for fear of an upset. He says each conference has selected several potential teams that could play in the series, to ensure the best matchups. The final decision on who’ll play in what games in the February matchups is up to the tv network. UNI will be one of the teams to go on the road for the February 22nd games.
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