Looking at Sun Belt Seeding Scenarios – From the Bird’s Nest
The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns haven't secured a position in the upcoming Sun Belt Conference Tournament as of yet.
But the three game sweep against Georgia State over the weekend puts them on the precipice and the Cajuns can actually get as high as the #5 seed, depending on their performance and the other games.
The top six teams all get first round byes in the tournament, which begins Tuesday in Conway, SC. Seeds 7 and 10 and seeds 8 and 9 will play first round games, while the other six wait until Wednesday.
First things first:
Six teams (Texas State, Georgia Southern, UTA, Little Rock, South Alabama and Coastal Carolina) have clinched berths in the tournament. Only one, Georgia State, has been eliminated. Georgia Southern, UTA and Texas State have insured they will not play on Tuesday.
But for the rest of the league, it all comes down to this weekend.
The teams are facing their geographic rivals: Georgia Southern at Georgia State, Appalachian State at Coastal Carolina, Troy at South Alabama, Little Rock at Arkansas State, UTA at Texas State and Louisiana at ULM.
For the Cajuns to clinch a spot in the tournament, they need one win over ULM. The Cajuns can also get in with an Arkansas State loss. An Arkansas State sweep of Little Rock combined with three ULM wins is the only scenario that eliminates the Cajuns.
But what about that first round bye?
Well, it would help if the Cajuns would take three games this weekend against an improved Warhawks' team. ULM has lost 25 in a row to the Cajuns and will be looking to end that streak at Warhawk Field. But let's suppose the Cajuns get all three. What then?
There are three series for Cajun fans to watch: Little Rock at A-State, App at Coastal and Troy at South Alabama.
If the Cajuns sweep and Appalachian State wins two out of three over Coastal, the Cajuns will be seeded #6, regardless of how the South Alabama/Troy series winds up.
If the Cajuns sweep and Appalachian State wins two out of three over Coastal AND Arkansas State sweeps Little Rock, the Cajuns wind up at #5. And, once again, the Troy vs. South Alabama series is moot.
If the Cajuns sweep and Coastal Carolina wins two of three, the only way the Cajuns can get a bye is if Arkansas State beats Little Rock three times.
There is also a scenario where the Cajuns can get a bye, even if they lose one game. In that scenario, App State must win their series against Coastal AND one of the Alabama teams needs to sweep the other. However, an App State sweep of Coastal combined with one loss from the Cajuns would give the Mountaineers a bye and relegate the Cajuns to a first round game.
For ULM to make the tournament, they need to win the same amount of (or more) games as Arkansas State.
That's what we'll be following beginning Thursday night.