Ragin’ Cajuns takes fourth-seeded Tennessee to wire before falling In NCAA Tournament

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Kobe Julien

ORLANDO, Fla. – Louisiana, the 2023 Hercules Tires Sun Belt Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament Champion and the No. 13 seed in the NCAA East Region, took fourth-seeded Tennessee to the wire before falling 58-55 on Thursday at the Amway Center.

The Ragin’ Cajuns, making their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2014, trailed by as many as 18 points midway through the second half.

Down 48-33 with 10:42 left, Louisiana used a 10-0 run to cut within five, 48-43, on a three-pointer by Kobe Julien. The Ragin’ Cajuns came as close as three points (56-53) with 23 seconds remaining. Tennessee made 2-of-4 free-throws in the final 20 seconds to seal its victory. A shot by Louisiana’s Themus Fulks at the buzzer made the final 58-55 margin.

Jordan Brown, a First-Team All-Sun Belt Conference selection and the Most Outstanding Performer of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament, recorded game highs of 16 points and seven rebounds. Julien contributed 15 points and Jalen Dalcourt added 11. Dalcourt and Julien made three three-pointers apiece. Fulks dished out a game-high 11 assists.

Louisiana concludes its outstanding 2022-23 season with a 26-8 overall record. The Ragin’ Cajuns finished second in the Sun Belt Conference regular season with a 13-5 mark. Louisiana was a perfect 14-0 at home this season.

Louisiana’s No. 13 seed in the NCAA Tournament was the best for a Sun Belt Conference men’s basketball team since 2016.

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