BracketBusters event discontinued

The annual BracketBusters, a two-day event featuring NCAA tournament hopefuls from non-power conferences, will be held for the final time in February 2013.

ESPN announced late Monday that it will not continue the BracketBusters beyond this season.

"BracketBusters has been a unique event for 11 years, producing memorable games and moments while generating national exposure for the participating schools and conferences," the ESPN statement said. "Given the evolving college landscape, we felt the event in its present form has run its course. We'll continue to work with our conference partners to develop new, creative events to further grow the sport. Our goal is to maintain the BracketBusters brand in some fashion in the future."

This season's BracketBusters will be held Feb. 22-23, and includes 122 schools from 13 conferences. Thirteen games will be televised on ESPN-affiliated networks, and the matchups for those contests will be announced Jan. 28.

The BracketBusters previously has served as an opportunity for schools from non-power conferences to gain national TV exposure, specifically for the benefit of the NCAA tournament selection committee.

VCU reached the Final Four as an at-large tournament selection in 2011 after participating in the BracketBusters earlier that season.

"BracketBusters was clearly beneficial to teams like us over the years," VCU coach Shaka Smart told ESPN.com. "It allowed us to play a top-50 or top-100 game and gave us the opportunity to gain an additional high-quality win that may not have otherwise been available."

ESPN.com's Andy Katz contributed to this report.