Category Archives: Sun Belt

Who Has the Better Chance to Repeat: UAB or Georgia State?

With the departures of Ryan Harrow and R.J. Hunter, T.J. Shipes will look to help lead Georgia State to another NCAA Tournament and another upset in the big dance. (Source: The Score)
With the departures of Ryan Harrow and R.J. Hunter, T.J. Shipes will look to help lead Georgia State to another NCAA Tournament and another upset in the big dance. (Source: The Score)

During the 2015 NCAA Tournament, we saw our fair share of upsets over the duration of the tournament. We saw some Cinderella runs, some unexpected runs, and some big individual performances as the field was narrowed down from 68 to Duke cutting down the nets at the end of it all.

Two of the biggest upsets took place on the first day of the Round of 64. Georgia State and UAB entered the tournament as 14-seeds in their respective regionals, and were projected by many to lose their opening round game.

Nobody told them they weren’t supposed to win, and they proved everyone wrong in the process.

In two of the best games of the entire tournament, UAB took down #3 Iowa State in the South Regional, and Georgia State took down #3 Baylor just hours later in the West Regional.

Both teams would see their Cinderella runs end before they even got started, as both would bow out of the tournament in the Round of 32. UAB would lose to UCLA, and Georgia State would get knocked out by Xavier.

Both of the opening round upsets created more excitement and buzz around the NCAA Tournament, and has since led to a ton of optimism for the future around both of these programs.

But, two questions remain. One, can they recreate that magic again in the 2016 NCAA Tournament if they find themselves in the same situation as last year? Two, which of the two schools has the better chance to pull off another upset?

We take a look into the scenarios for both schools heading into the 2015-16 season to see which one of the two has the better chance of pulling off a program-defining upset for the second season in a row. Continue reading Who Has the Better Chance to Repeat: UAB or Georgia State?

Florida A&M Transfer Jermaine Ruttley Commits to UALR

Jermaine Ruttley is headed to UALR, and will be eligible immediately for the Trojans in 2015-16.
Jermaine Ruttley is headed to UALR, and will be eligible immediately for the Trojans in 2015-16.

Back in April, it looked as though Florida A&M transfer Jermaine Ruttley was off to Louisiana Tech. The junior guard had committed to play for the bulldogs in 2015-16, but then things got interesting.

Mike White left the team, opting for the head coaching position down in Gainesville, FL with the Gators, and their top assistant went with him. With the coaching change, Ruttley de-committed from Louisiana Tech, and reopened his recruitment.

While he entertained possibilities like Oklahoma State, Georgia Tech, Memphis, Tennessee, and Purdue, among others, he went off the map with his decision.

As first reported by ESPN.com on Friday, Ruttley is taking his services to the Sun Belt conference, where he will join the Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans for the 2015-16 season. Continue reading Florida A&M Transfer Jermaine Ruttley Commits to UALR

Shawn Long is Returning to UL-Lafayette

Shawn Long is returning for his senior season, making the Ragin' Cajuns the team to beat in the Sun Belt in the process. (Source: Getty Images)
Shawn Long is returning for his senior season, making the Ragin’ Cajuns the team to beat in the Sun Belt in the process. (Source: Getty Images)

Year after year, teams enter the Sun Belt Conference as the pre-season favourite, and year after year the race for the conference title turns into a crap shoot.

Two seasons ago, the Georgia State Panthers entered the year as clear-cut favourites to win the Sun Belt title. As we all know, the title wasn’t in the cards. The Panthers lost to the Ragin’ Cajuns of Louisiana-Lafayette in the Sun Belt tournament finals.

Georgia State made it back to the NCAA Tournament in 2014-15, avoiding any further upsets for the pre-season favourite.

On Saturday afternoon, the aforementioned Ragin’ Cajuns find themselves in a position that Georgia State knows all too well: pre-season Sun Belt favourite. The school was awaiting the decision of junior forward Shawn Long, who was predicted by many to be an NBA Draft pick in the upcoming draft. While Long was aware of the possibilities, he opted to return to school for his senior season, making the Ragin’ Cajuns a legitimate mid-major threat in the process. Continue reading Shawn Long is Returning to UL-Lafayette