It’s only March 6th and the madness is already well underway in the Sun Belt. The South Alabama Jaguars, the 8th seed in the tournament going in, have made their way all the way to the championship games via wins over 9 seed Appalachian State, 1 seed Southern Miss, and last night they defeated 4 seeded James Madison to advance to the championship.
The Jaguars will take on the Louisiana Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns for a spot in the NCAA Tournament on Monday night. The Cajuns, who are the 2 seed in the Sun Belt, are the only team in the conference that has swept South Alabama this season via a 79-76 victory in Mobile in January and a 74-64 triumph at the Cajundome last Saturday in the regular season finale.
The Cajuns last appeared in the big dance in 2014 after defeating Georgia State in an OT thriller in the Sun Belt championship, while the Jaguars have not been since 2008, when they received an at-large bid after winning the regular season title. South Alabama has not won the conference tournament since 2006.
Everything is on the line for these two teams tonight, as the Sun Belt is not expected to receive an at-large bid this season, meaning only the winner of the conference tournament will be going dancing. Can the Jaguars cap off a miracle postseason run with their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 15 years, or will the Cajuns defeat them for a third time this year and go dancing themselves?
The Sun Belt championship will be held at 6pm tonight in Pensacola on ESPN2.