Arkansas-Little Rock is seeking an NCAA Tournament berth that would almost automatically make the Trojans one of March's darlings. They'll have to survive the Sun Belt Conference Tournament to get it.
The Trojans compiled a 10-1 non-conference record, dominated the Sun Belt, and lost just one game by double digits en route to the league's No. 1 seed, but their resume isn't quite strong enough to be assured of an at-large March Madness dance ticket. They have vanquished most challengers to their throne in the Sun Belt this year, but a conference tournament held in New Orleans isn't without pitfalls.
The biggest threat to Arkansas-Little Rock is logically either Texas-Arlington, the Sun Belt's only other top-100 KenPom squad, or Louisiana-Monroe, which compiled a 15-5 conference record, knocked off the Trojans at home, and earned the No. 2 seed. But the tournament's format prevents the Trojans from seeing either team until the final, and the other two Sun Belt teams to beat Arkansas-Little Rock this year didn't make the field.
Only eight of the Sun Belt's 12 teams make the cut for the conference's tournament, which still isn't enough to cull only teams with winning records. The top four seeds all have a bye, with the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds enjoying double byes, meaning that Arkansas-Little Rock and Louisiana-Monroe need to win just two games to make the NCAA Tournament, while South Alabama would need to win four.
- Arkansas-Little Rock
- Georgia Southern
- Georgia State
- Texas State
- South Alabama
You can see the full bracket here.
Schedule and Results (all times Eastern)
Thurs., March 10 (Opening Round)
Game 1: No. 8 South Alabama 67, No. 5 Georgia Southern 61
Game 2: No. 7 Texas State 63, No. 6 Georgia State 61
Fri., March 11 (Quarterfinals)
Game 3: No. 4 Louisiana-Lafayette 90, No. 8 South Alabama 68
Game 4: No. 3 Texas-Arlington 72, No. 7 Texas State 63
Sat., March 12 (Semifinals)
Game 5: No. 1 Arkansas-Little Rock 72, No. 4 Louisiana-Lafayette 65
Game 6: No. 2 Louisiana-Monroe 82, No. 3 Texas-Arlington 71
Sun., March 13 (Final)
Game 7: No. 1 Arkansas-Little Rock 70, No. 2 Louisiana-Monroe 50
* * *
Greatest Cinderella: Was it the NC State Wolfpack or Butler Bulldogs?