Snap up the boudin, munch up the cracklins, Louisiana is geauxing to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2014!
The Ragin’ Cajuns beat South Alabama in Pensacola on Monday, 71-66, to claim the Sun Belt title. Not only is it a huge win for the program, but it came in a city that brings back a lot of memories for head coach Bob Marlin.
“It’s special. The year we won the national championship, my son was born. Pensacola has always had a special place in my heart,” Marlin said postgame. “It was 30 years ago. We practiced at PJC this afternoon, these guys, some of them saw the trophy case, the banner that’s on the wall there. Certainly proud of my time here.”
PJC’s gym must’ve carried some magic as Louisiana faced off against the seven, eight, and 11 seeds in the conference tournament. Every matchup turned into a unique battle.
In the first, the Cajuns smoked seven-seed Georgia Southern, 67-49. Little did they know, that would be the highest-seeded team they faced in the tournament.
Jordan Brown impressed, as he did the whole tournament, reeling in 13 rebounds and scoring 16 points.
During the semifinals, the Cajuns faced No. 11 seed Texas State. The Bobcats won the prior game in upset fashion, beating three-seed Marshall on a late prayer from Mason Harrell.
THERE’S ICE IN MASON HARRELL’S VEINS— Mid-Major Madness (@mid_madness) March 5, 2023
No. 11 Texas State is on the brink of upsetting No. 3 Marshall pic.twitter.com/ObzyBp9NjB
Prayers were not answered for Texas State in the semifinals, trailing all game and allowing Jordan Brown to put up another crooked number at 18 points.
That set up for a matchup against one of the hottest teams in the country, South Alabama. The Jaguars picked up impressive wins against three really good programs in Appalachian State, Southern Mississippi, and James Madison.
This game was nowhere near similar to the other two for the Cajuns. Louisiana would trail for the good part of the first 26 minutes and then scrap-and-claw with the lead for the remaining 14.
It resulted in a win, capping an impressive 26-7 season and sending the Cajuns back to the big dance.
THE RAGIN' CAJUNS ARE GOING DANCIN'‼️ ️— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 7, 2023
For the first time since 2014, Louisiana is headed to the tourney as Sun Belt champions! pic.twitter.com/eYYueO8ERD
Joe Lunardi currently has Louisiana projected as a 14-seed and with some upsets, they could move into the 12-13 range.