JONESBORO, Ark. (ASU) – The Arkansas State University men's basketball team has earned the second overall seed and a first-round bye for the 2013 Sun Belt Conference (SBC) Championship to be held this upcoming weekend (March 8-11) at both the Summit Arena and Convention Center Court in Hot Springs, Ark.
The Red Wolves will face the winner of the Florida Atlantic-Troy this Saturday (March 9) at 9 p.m. (CT) in Summit Arena. Florida Atlantic (14-17; 9-11 Sun Belt East) is the seventh seed while Troy (11-20; 6-14 Sun Belt East) is seeded 10th and the two teams square off Friday (March 8) at 8:30 p.m. (CT) .
ASU's quarterfinal-round matchup will be aired live on the Sun Belt Network. The Red Wolves went 1-1 during the regular-season campaign against both FloridaAtlantic and Troy. This season, ASU lost 72-65 at FAU (11/29) before notching a 63-38 home win in Jonesboro (1/26) in a Sun Belt Network televised contest. A-State suffered a 74-67 overtime loss at Troy (1/24), but then avenged the setback with a 58-50 victory in the Red Wolves' regular-season home finale (2/23).
Arkansas State, which won the SBC West Division Championship for the second time in the last three seasons, wrapped up the regular season with an 18-11 mark while posting a first-place 12-8 SBC West Division record. The Red Wolves, under fifth-year head coach John Brady, won seven of their last 10 outings to close out 2012-13 regular-season action.
Middle Tennessee, the Sun Belt East Division Champions, is the tourney's top seed and among five teams, including Arkansas State, to receive first-round bye. South Alabama, FIU and UALR are the three thru five seeds, respectively and as a result begin play starting with the quarterfinal round. South Alabama (17-11; 14-6 Sun Belt East) is in the same bracket as ASU and will take on the winner of Western Kentucky (No. 6) and ULM (No. 11). On the other side, FIU and UALR will square off while Middle Tennessee is set to play the Louisiana-Lafayette (No. 8) –North Texas (No. 9) winner.
Arkansas State has compiled a 4-6 record in its last 10 SBC Tournament contests, which included a 2-1 mark in the 2012 conference tourney at Hot Springs. A season ago, the ninth-seed Red Wolves toppled No. 8 seed Florida Atlantic, 70-55, in opening-round action (3/3) before going on to upset number-one seed Middle Tennessee by a 64-61 score in the semifinals (3/4). ASU was eliminated from the tourney by coming out on the short end of a 76-72 semifinal-round decision to fifth-seed North Texas (3/5).
The 2013 SBC Championship contests will be shown live on the Sun Belt Network while the tournament's championship game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN with opening tip-off scheduled for 6 p.m. (CT).
Tickets for the 2013 Sun Belt Conference Men's and Women's Basketball Championship are presently on sale and can be purchased online through the ASU Box Office at www.tickets.astate.edu<http://www.tickets.astate.edu> or by calling (870) 972-ASU1.
Tickets are $93 per booklet, which includes a ticket to each session for both the men's and women's games covering all four days. Hotel packages can be reserved by calling (501) 624-5521.
Arkansas State students can receive free admission to the 2013 SBC Championship Tournament by presenting their validstudent ID.