Sun Belt Tournament Preview & Predictions

By Micah Cole
Mar. 06, 2018

Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports
Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports
Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

With the regular season having come to a close and we head to New Orleans everything is now ON! Big things are ahead with the highest stakes on the table! An NCAA Tournament Automatic bid is in play and all 12 teams from the Sun Belt conference are now in play! Here is a breakdown of the teams and where they are seeded.

1. Louisiana Lafayette 26-5 (16-2 SBC) - First RD BYE

2. Georgia State 21-10 (12-6 SBC) - First RD Bye

3. Georgia Southern 20-11 (11-7 SBC) - First RD Bye

4. UT Arlington 19-12 (10-8 SBC) - First RD Bye

5. App. St. 14-17 (9-9 SBC)

6. Louisiana Monroe 15-14 (9-9 SBC)

7. Troy 15-16 (9-9 SBC)

8. Coastal Carolina 14-17 (8-10 SBC)

9. Texas State 14-17 (7-11 SBC)

10. South Alabama 14-17 (7-11 SBC)

11. Arkansas State 11-20 (6-12 SBC)

12. Arkansas Little Rock 7-24 (4-14 SBC)

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

First Round:

Louisiana Lafayette, Georgia State, Georgia Southern & UT Arlington have first round BYE's

(9) Texas State vs (8) Coastal Carolina - Winner Plays Louisiana Lafayette

Both of these teams have had some serious highs and both have had some serious lows. This should be a good game but neither team will have much of a shot against a Juggernaut like Lafayette

Pick: Texas State 75-71

(12) Arkansas Little Rock vs (5) Appalachian State - Winner plays UT Arlington

Pick: Appalachian State 65-58

(11) Arkansas State vs (6) Louisiana Monroe - Winner plays Georgia Southern

Pick: Arkansas State 71-69

(10) South Alabama vs (7) Troy - Winner plays Georgia State

Pick: Troy 67-62

Quarter-Finals:

(9) Texas State vs (1) Louisiana Lafayette

Texas State will be able to put up a fight however coming up against a voiced team who has virtually dominated the entire Sun Belt all season in Lafayette I doubt they can withstand the fire power. But as seen in games this season Texas State has a tendency to show resiliency. This game will be ugly but I still got Lafayette winning by double digits.

Pick: Louisiana Lafayette 81-68

(5) Appalachian State vs (4) UT Arlington

In a season full of ups and downs for the Mavericks it may depend on which team shows up. At home UTA posted a solid 13-2 mark but away from home posted a 6-10 mark (1 Neutral game included). App State has done no better posting a 4-11 road mark. With UTA's heavily experienced team that includes 8 seniors they should be able to take care of business.

Pick: UT Arlington 82-72

(11) Arkansas State vs (3) Georgia Southern

Georgia Southern had high expectations coming into the season and while not totally as planned their goal is still obtainable. Arkansas State is coming off a season where they finished 11th after last year finishing 5th in the Sun Belt and losing to 12 seed UL Monroe last season. Georgia Southern should take care of business.

Pick: Georgia Southern 91-73

(7) Troy vs (2) Georgia State

Pick: Georgia State 81-72

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Semi-Finals

(4) UT Arlington vs (1) Louisiana Lafayette

Both of these teams have alot on the table. Louisiana Lafayette who has dominated the Sun Belt will continue to show their dominance as for UTA they are looking to get a experience loaded squad to the NCAA Tournament. This should be the best game of the tournament if it comes down to it. Who are you taking a heavily experienced team in UTA or a team with four Power Five Transfers?

Pick: Upset UT Arlington wins 73-68

(3) Georgia Southern vs (2) Georgia State

One more Georgia Southern vs Georgia State matchup? Im good with this. They split the season series now the rubber match means everything. Who owns Georgia?

Pick: Georgia Southern 76-68

Sun Belt Championship

(4) UT Arlington vs (3) Georgia Southern

The cards have fallen we're down to this final game. The Leadership will rise and the 8 Seniors from UTA will be dancing their way to March Madness!

Pick: UT Arlington 89-72

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports