Press Release from the Sun Belt Conference
The seeds and matchups for the 2020 Sun Belt Conference Men's Basketball Championship, presented by First Bank and Trust, have been determined following the conclusion of the regular season on Tuesday night. The championship opens with first-round games on Saturday, March 7, second-round games on Monday, March 9 and quarterfinal games on Wednesday, March 11 hosted by the higher seeds on campus sites.
The two quarterfinal winners join the top two seeds in New Orleans and the Smoothie King Center, home of the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans, for semifinals games on Saturday, March 14 and championship game on Sunday, March 15. The first-round, second-round, quarterfinal and semifinal games are set for live coverage on ESPN+ with Sunday’s championship game slated for live coverage on ESPN2 and TuneIn. All tournament games are available through the ESPN App, accessible on computers, smartphones, tablets and connected devices. Live statistics are available on SunBeltSports.org.
As the top two seeds, Little Rock (21-10, 15-5 Sun Belt) and South Alabama (20-11, 13-7) receive byes directly to the semifinals. No. 1 seed Little Rock secured its first regular-season title since 2015-16 with their Feb. 29 win over Louisiana. The Trojans are seeking their third Sun Belt Tournament title (2011, 2016) and first since sweeping the regular-season and tournament titles and earning a first-round upset win as a No. 12 seed in the 2016 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship.
No. 2 seed South Alabama enters the championship as the league’s hottest team on an eight-game winning streak. The Jaguars earned a top-three tournament seed for the first time since being the No. 3 seed for the 2013 championship. South Alabama seeks its first Sun Belt Tournament title since 2006.
The championship tips off Saturday with a pair of first-round games on campus sites as No. 8 seed Louisiana (13-18, 8-12) hosts No. 9 seed Arkansas State (16-15, 8-12) at 11 a.m. CT and No. 7 seed UTA (14-17, 10-10) hosts No. 10 seed Coastal Carolina (15-16, 8-12) at 2 p.m. CT. The winners of the first-round games advance to Monday’s second-round games with No. 5 seed Georgia Southern hosting the Louisiana/Arkansas State winner at 6 p.m. CT and No. 6 seed Appalachian State (17-14, 11-9) hosting the UTA/Coastal Carolina winner at 6 p.m. CT.
The second-round winners advance to take on third-seeded Texas State and fourth-seeded Georgia State in the quarterfinals. The four teams advancing to New Orleans meet in Saturday semifinal matchups scheduled for 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. CT. The championship game on Selection Sunday is set for 1 p.m. CT on ESPN2.
2020 SUN BELT MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
First Round at Campus Sites
Saturday, March 7
Game 1 - No. 9 Arkansas State at No. 8 Louisiana (ESPN+), 11 a.m.
Game 2 - No. 10 Coastal Carolina at No. 7 UTA (ESPN+), 2 p.m.
Second Round at Campus Sites
Monday, March 9
Game 3 – Game 1 Winner at No. 5 Georgia Southern (ESPN+), 6 p.m.
Game 4 – Game 2 Winner at No. 6 Appalachian State (ESPN+), 6 p.m.
Quarterfinals at Campus Sites
Wednesday, March 11
Game 5 – Game 3 Winner at No. 4 Georgia State (ESPN+), 6 p.m.
Game 6 – Game 4 Winner at No. 3 Texas State (ESPN+), 7 p.m.
Semifinals at Smoothie King Center
Saturday, March 14
Game 7 - Game 5 Winner vs. No. 1 Little Rock (ESPN+), 11:30 a.m.
Game 8 – Game 6 Winner vs. No. 2 South Alabama (ESPN+), 2 p.m.
Championship Game at Smoothie King Center
Sunday, March 15
Game 9 – Game 7 Winner vs. Game 8 Winner (ESPN2), 1 p.m.
All Times are Central and Subject to Change
Championship Seeds and Conference Records
1. Little Rock (15-5)
2. South Alabama (13-7) 1
3. Texas State (13-7) 1
4. Georgia State (12-8) 2
5. Georgia Southern (12-8) 2
6. Appalachian State (11-9)
7. UTA (10-10)
8. Louisiana (8-12) 3
9. Arkansas State (8-12) 3
10. Coastal Carolina (8-12) 3
1. South Alabama defeated Texas State in their only regular-season meeting on March 3. This gives South Alabama the No. 2 seed and makes Texas State the No. 3 seed.
2. Georgia State and Georgia Southern split their season series 1-1. Georgia State was 1-0 (1.000) and Georgia Southern was 0-1 (.000) against No. 1 seed Little Rock. This gives Georgia State the No. 4 seed and makes Georgia Southern the No. 5 seed.
3. The records among the three teams tied for eighth place were Louisiana is 2-1 (.667), Arkansas State is 2-2 (.500) and Coastal Carolina is 1-2 (.333). This gives Louisiana the No. 8 seed, Arkansas State the No. 9 seed and Coastal Carolina the No. 10 seed.