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EWU to play at Irvine in BracketBuster

Vandals will entertain Portland St. same night

The Eagles will fly south one more time this season.

The Eastern Washington University men’s basketball team will play at UC Irvine on Feb. 18 as part of the Sears ESPN BracketBusters announced Monday.

Tip-off will be 7 p.m. at the Bren Events Center in Irvine, Calif.

The game will feature two teams who like to shoot from long range; the Eagles average 9.3 3-pointers per game to rank fourth nationally. The Anteaters are 48th with a 7.8 average.

Eastern is 4-5 in the Big Sky Conference and 10-12 overall heading into games this week versus Northern Arizona and Sacramento State.

The Anteaters are 8-13 overall and 4-4 in the Big West Conference. They are coached by Russell Turner, who is in his second season after going 13-19 a year ago.

The Anteaters are led by Michael Wilder, a 6-foot-2 junior guard from Long Beach, Calif., and Daman Starring, a 6-3 junior guard from Las Vegas. Both are averaging 11.5 points per game, and have combined for an average of 9.5 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 2.0 steals per game.

Eastern is 3-3 all-time against UC Irvine.

As part of the Sears ESPN BracketBusters agreement, UC Irvine will play in Cheney in the 2013-14 season.

• On the same night, Idaho will play host to Portland State.

The Vikings and Vandals will meet in the Cowan Spectrum in Moscow at 7:05. The BracketBuster game will not be televised by ESPN.

Portland State (10-11) and Idaho (11-10) will meet for the first time since a pair of games during the 2005-06 season. The Vikings won both of those contests. Prior to that, the teams had not met since the 1978-79 season.

PSU leads the all-time series against the Vandals, which dates back to the 1965-66 season, 10-8.