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Sun Belt Tournament bracket and schedule: Will Georgia State dance yet again?

UTA, Georgia Southern and Texas State are in hot pursuit.

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It took a rocky road to get there, but the Sun Belt ended where many expected it would: with Georgia State on top. The preseason favorite Panthers dealt with a 2-4 patch beginning in late January, but were able to close the year winning six of their last seven games. This included a massive win at Georgia Southern last Saturday that clinched the regular season title, and No. 1 seed in the league tournament.

“I have been fortunate to be a part of a lot of championships, but to go on the road to get this one today is really special,” head coach Ron Hunter said. “I thought our defense was big when it needed to be, and we played like we are the best team in the league. I couldn’t be happier for our team, our University and our community as we bring another championship to Atlanta.”

Tookie Brown and Georgia Southern remain a threat, as do the other two teams — UT Arlington and Texas State — that finished with 12-6 league records. The Mavericks replaced virtually their entire roster and were picked to finish 11th, but surged to the No. 2 seed in their first season under Chris Ogden. Texas State, meanwhile, looked poised to grab the regular season title until a late stumble, but still finished with its best season to date since joining the Sun Belt.

Lower down in the bracket there are players capable of lifting their teams and well worth watching on their own, like Ty Cockfield (Arkansas State), Daishon Smith (ULM) and Jakeenan Gant (Louisiana).

Tournament Bracket


March 12: Higher seeds host

March 14-17: New Orleans, La. (Bracket)

2018 Champion: Georgia State Panthers

The 11th- and 12th-place finishers will not qualify.

First Round (Tue., March 12)

ESPN+ ($) will stream both games.

Game 1: No. 10 at No. 7, 12 p.m.

Game 2: No. 9 at No. 8, 12 p.m.

Second Round (Thu., March 14)

ESPN+ ($) will stream both games.

Game 3: Game 1 Winner vs. No. 6, 6 p.m.

Game 4: Game 2 Winner vs. No. 5, approx. 8:30 p.m.

Quarterfinals (Fri., March 15)

ESPN+ ($) will stream both games.

Game 5: Game 3 Winner vs. No. 3, 6 p.m.

Game 6: Game 4 Winner vs. No. 4, approx. 8:30 p.m.

Semifinals (Sat., March 16)

ESPN+ ($) will stream both games.

Game 7: Game 5 Winner vs. No. 2, 4 p.m.

Game 8: Game 6 Winner vs. No. 1, approx. 6:30 p.m.

Championship (Sun., March 17)

Game 9: Game 7 Winner vs. Game 8 Winner, 2 p.m. (ESPN2)