The Sun Belt tournament begins today with a pair of games. The 5th seeded UT-Arlington Mavericks face the 8th seeded Texas State Bobcats, with the winner playing the 4th seeded UL Lafayette Ragin Cajuns. The Mavericks look to get out of their recent funk, as they have dropped their last 4 of 5 games. They have however, defeated the Bobcats twice this season, but we all know the a third time can be a tough task. The Bobcats enjoyed early success in conference play, starting out 4-2, including defeating the top seeded Georgia St. Panthers. They did not enjoy what came after however, losing their next 11 of 13 games. The other game features the 6th seeded South Alabama Jaguars against the 7th seeded Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans, with the winner playing the UL Monroe Warhawks. The Jaguars have defeated the Trojans twice this season, which they’ve made a habit of apparently, also defeating the Troy Trojans and UL Lafayette Rajin Cajuns twice. The UALR Trojans are on a minor skid since their best stretch of the season, where they managed to win 5 of 6 games, including defeating the top seeded Georgia St. Panthers.
As for a prediction, I’m siding with the Georgia St. Panthers. They have too much talent on this team to let this year to do anything but be in the NCAA tournament. R.J Hunter is an NBA talent, averaging 19.7 point per game. He isn’t even the high scorer on the team, as Ryan Harrow averages 20.2 points per game and an impressive .506% field goal percentage. They also have Kevin Ware on the team, who is a transfer from Louisville and probably more known as the player that broke his leg during March Madness. The Panthers have won their last 7 of 8 games and just recently whipped the 2nd seeded Georgia Southern Eagles. With that, I got the Georgia St. Panthers winning the Sun Belt Tournament and ending the 14 year NCAA tournament hiatus.