Two Sun Belt teams in NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2 - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Two Sun Belt teams in NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2008


NEW ORLEANS (KAIT & AP) - Selection Sunday turned out to be a victory for the Sun Belt Conference. Two teams were selected for the first time since 2008 (South Alabama & Western Kentucky).

No. 1 seed Kansas will face No. 16 seed Western Kentucky on Friday in a South Regional first-round matchup between two teams with plenty of NCAA tournament experience.

Kansas (29-5) received a No. 1 seed after earning a share of the Big 12 regular-season title and defeating Kansas State 70-54 in the Big 12 tournament championship game. Last year's NCAA tournament runner-up has won both the Big 12 regular-season and tournament championships three of the last four seasons.

Western Kentucky (20-15) is making its 23rd overall NCAA tournament appearance and fourth in the last six years. The Hiltoppers were only one game above .500 at the end of the regular season, but they won four games in four days as the No. 6 seed in the Sun Belt tournament.

The Saint Mary's Gaels will help open the First Four in Dayton on Tuesday night, facing Middle Tennessee. The winner will play Memphis on Thursday.

Middle Tennessee (28-5) was upset by Florida International 61-57 in the Sun Belt title game, ending the nation's longest active winning streak at 17 games. The Blue Raiders won their conference's regular season title. They hadn't made the tournament since 1989.

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