Sun Belt releases 2018 Women’s Basketball Championship seeds

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NEW ORLEANS – The seeds and pairings for the 2018 Sun Belt Conference Women’s Basketball Championship, presented by First Bank and Trust, have been determined following the conclusion of the conference’s regular-season slate of games Saturday evening.

The tournament, hosted at Lakefront Arena in New Orleans, La., begins Tuesday, March 6 with the quarterfinal games scheduled for Thursday, March 8. The semifinals will take place on Saturday, March 10 and the championship game will be played Sunday, March 11 at 6 p.m. CT and will be broadcast live on ESPN3.

The top four seeds of the tournament all receive a first-round bye. Little Rock (20-9, 17-1) won the regular season title and will be the No. 1 seed in the tournament. All 12 teams from the league will be in New Orleans.

Tuesday’s first round will feature No. 8 seed Arkansas State (15-14, 10-8) taking on No. 9 Appalachian State (7-22, 5-13) at 11:30 a.m. (CT). The winner of the game between the Red Wolves and Mountaineers will face Little Rock on Thursday at 11:30 a.m. (CT).

Tuesday’s second game will feature fifth-seeded South Alabama (18-11, 11-7) against No. 12 ULM (4-25, 1-17) at 2:00 p.m. (CT). The winner of this game will face fourth-seeded Troy (17-12, 12-6) on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. (CT).

The 5:00 p.m. (CT) game will pit seventh-seeded Coastal Carolina (16-13, 10-8) against No. 10 Georgia State (8-21, 4-14). Texas State (21-8, 14-4), the No. 2 seed in the tournament, will face the winner of the No. 7/No. 10 game on Thursday at 5:00 p.m. (CT).

Sixth-seeded Louisiana (15-15, 10-8) will face No. 11 Georgia Southern (5-24, 2-16) in Tuesday’s finale at 7:30 p.m. (CT). The winner of this game will face third-seeded UTA (18-11, 12-6) on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. (CT).

The winners of Thursday’s games will advance to Saturday’s semifinals with the two winning teams from Saturday’s games scheduled to meet on Sunday night at 6:00 p.m. CT for the tournament championship.

2018 Championship Schedule
Tuesday, March 6 (First Round)
G1: No. 8 Arkansas State vs. No. 9 Appalachian State, 11:30 a.m. (ESPN3)
G2: No. 5 South Alabama vs. No. 12 ULM, 2:00 p.m. (ESPN3)
G3: No. 7 Coastal Carolina vs. No. 10 Georgia State, 5:00 p.m. (ESPN3)
G4: No. 6 Louisiana vs. No. 11 Georgia Southern, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN3)

Thursday, March 8 (Quarterfinals)
G5: No. 1 Little Rock vs. Winner G1, 11:30 a.m. (ESPN3)
G6: No. 4 Troy vs. Winner G2, 2:00 p.m. (ESPN3)
G7: No. 2 Texas State vs. Winner G3, 5:00 p.m. (ESPN3)
G8: No. 3 UTA vs. Winner G4, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN3)

Saturday, March 10 (Semifinals)
G9: Winner G5 vs. Winner G6, 5:00 p.m. (ESPN3)
G10: Winner G7 vs. Winner G8, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN3)

Sunday, March 11 (Championship Game)
G11: Winner G9 vs. Winner G10, 6:00 p.m. (ESPN3)

All Game Times are Central Time and Subject to Change.

2018 Tournament Seeds and Sun Belt Records
1. Little Rock (17-1)
2. Texas State (14-4)
3. UTA (12-6) *
4. Troy (12-6) *
5. South Alabama (11-7)
6. Louisiana (10-8) **
7. Coastal Carolina (10-8) **
8. Arkansas State (10-8) **
9. Appalachian State (5-13)
10. Georgia State (4-14)
11. Georgia Southern (2-16)
12. ULM (1-17)

* UTA and Troy finished with identical 12-6 league records. UTA defeated Troy in the teams’ only matchup this season, therefore, UTA earned the No. 3 seed.

** Louisiana, Coastal Carolina and Arkansas State each finished with identical 10-8 league records. Comparing the composite records of the tied teams only shows Louisiana with a 3-0 record against CCU and A-State. CCU is 1-2 and A-State is 1-3, therefore, Louisiana earned the No. 6 seed. With only two teams remaining, CCU and A-State move to a two-team tiebreaker. Head-to-head, the teams split the season series so we look at their winning percentage against Little Rock, the highest seed. Both teams dropped games to Little Rock this season so we move onto No. 2 Texas State. CCU split with Texas State while A-State dropped its only matchup with Texas State, therefore, CCU earned the No. 7 seed and A-State earned the No. 8 seed.

About the Sun Belt Conference
The Sun Belt Conference continues to establish itself as a force to be reckoned with in competition. The 2016-17 athletic season showed that the Sun Belt Conference takes a back seat to no other league in its competitive balance and in proving itself deserving of its status as a member of the NCAA’s highest conference tier.

The Sun Belt has gone 8-3 in bowl games the past two years, which makes the Sun Belt’s winning percentage the best among all conferences. In fact, over the past four years no one ranks higher in bowl winning percentage than the Sun Belt. The Sun Belt also had the most wins and best win percentage among the “Group of Five” peer conferences, including victories over teams in the two top-rated leagues in the final computer rankings.

During the recent 2016-17 academic year, Sun Belt member institutions awarded over $50 million in scholarships to more than 3,100 student-athletes, while also providing life experiences such as team building, domestic and foreign travel, community service, mentoring and recognition through honors and awards.

Appalachian State, Arkansas State, Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Louisiana, ULM, South Alabama, Texas State and Troy will give the league 10 football members and enable the Sun Belt to inaugurate divisional football play and stage a conference championship game in 2018. Little Rock and UTA compete as Sun Belt members in all sports other than football.

For more information on the Sun Belt Conference, visit www.sunbeltsports.org

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