SBC Basketball Tourney Tip-Off and Band Spectacular set For March 7

From Arkansas State University

The Sun Belt Conference (SBC) will be hosting its annual "Tournament Tip-Off and Pep Band Spectacular" this Thursday (March 7) to officially start the 2013 SBC Men's and Women's Basketball Championships, which be conducted this weekend (March 8-11) in Hot Springs, Ark.

The SBC Tournament Tip-Off, which is open to the public and free of charge, starts at 6 p.m. (CT) in the Summit Arena.  The Sun Belt Conference will be providing hot dogs, popcorn and sodas at no charge for all attendees.

Entertainment will be provided by Sun Belt Conference-member institution pep bands and mascots.  This year's event will also feature autograph sessions with SBC basketball coaches and student-athletes.  Fans will also have an opportunity to be involved with "meet the mascot" and have their photo taken with the various mascots of the conference's member schools.

"The Tournament Tip-Off is a great way to have some fun before the competition of the tournament begins," said Sun Belt Conference Senior Associate Commissioner Kathy Keene.  "There will be great music and entertainment in a fun, family-friendly environment.  We always look forward to having fans of the Sun Belt institutions and Hot Springs residents come out and show their support for the tournament."

The 2013 SBC Men's and Women's Basketball Championships get underway this Friday (March 8) and conclude Monday (March 11) with the championship games.  Games for the single-elimination tournament will be conducted both at the Summit Arena and Convention Center

The Arkansas State women's basketball team begins tournament action this Saturday (March 9) against FIU in an 11:30 a.m. (CT) matchup.  The opening-round matchup will be played at the Convention Center Court.  The Red Wolves finished the regular season with a 15-14 overall record, which included a 12-8 SBC West Division mark.

The Arkansas State men's basketball team, which captured its second SBC West Division title in the last three seasons, received a tourney first-round bye and will face the first-round winner of the Florida Atlantic-Troy contest this Saturday (March 9) at Summit Arena.  A 9 p.m. (CT) opening tip is slated for the second-round tilt.  ASU wrapped up its regular season at 18-11 overall with a first-place 12-8 ledger in the SBC's West Division.

For more information on the 2013 Sun Belt Conference Basketball Championships, fans may visit<> or call (504) 299-9066.  Tickets may be purchased online through the ASU Box Office at<> or by calling (870) 972-ASU1.  Single-session tickets are $15 per person and $1 for children ages 3-17.  Free admission will be offered for children ages two and under along with students from SBC member institutions who have a valid school ID.