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2022 Sun Belt Tournament: Schedule, Bracket, Recent History, TV/Streaming Info

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While top-seeded Texas State finished with two fewer losses than anyone else, the Sun Belt Tournament isn’t really known for being kind to favorites.

The 2022 Sun Belt Conference Tournament field in logos.
Graphic by Chris Dobbertean using logos from SportsLogos.net.

Visit Conference Tournament Central and the 2022 Conference Tournaments Hub for full Championship Fortnight coverage.

2022 Sun Belt Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament Basics

Dates

Thursday, March 3 (first round); Saturday, March 5 (quarterfinals); Sunday, March 6 (semifinals); Monday, March 7 (championship)

Format

Traditional bracket

Site

This will be the Sun Belt Tournament’s second season in Pensacola, Florida (out of a five-year contract). However, this year, the event will only be played at the Pensacola Bay Center, not split with Hartsell Arena on the campus of Pensacola State College as was the case in 2021.

TV/Streaming Info

ESPN2 will air the championship game on Monday night, while ESPN+ will stream the first three rounds in their entirety.

Participants

All 12 current Sun Belt teams will participate.

Printable Bracket

Schedule

First Round (Thurs., March 3)

Game 1: (9) UT Arlington (11-18, 7-10) 64, (8) Louisiana 67
Game 2: (12) Little Rock 75, (5) South Alabama (19-11, 9-7) 71
Game 3: (11) ULM (13-18, 5-13) 77, (6) Arkansas State 81
Game 4: (10) Georgia Southern 70, (7) Coastal Carolina (16-13, 8-8) 64

Quarterfinals (Sat., March 5)

Game 5: (8) Louisiana 79, (1) Texas State (21-7, 12-3) 72
Game 6: (12) Little Rock (9-19, 3-11) 62, (4) Troy 69
Game 7: (6) Arkansas State (18-11, 8-7) 62, (3) Georgia State 65
Game 8: (10) Georgia Southern (13-16, 5-11) 60, (2) Appalachian State 73

Semifinals (Sun., March 6)

Game 9: (8) Louisiana 66, (4) Troy (20-11, 10-6) 57

Game 10: (3) Georgia State 71, (2) Appalachian State (19-14, 12-6) 66

Championship (Mon., March 7)

Game 11: (8) Louisiana (16-15, 8-9) 71, (3) GEORGIA STATE (18-10, 9-5) 80

Mayhem Potential

Data originally posted by Bob Vetrone Jr. on Twitter in 2020 with my own additions for 2021 and 2022.

The Sun Belt Tournament has been a bit of a demolition derby for higher seeds since 2011. The No. 1 seed has won just three titles, with the No. 2 claiming just one.

  • 1 seed (3): 2015, 2016, 2019
  • 6 seed (2): 2013, 2017
  • 2 seed (1): 2018
  • 3 seed (1): 2014
  • 4 seed (1): 2021 (East Division)
  • 5 seed (1): 2011 (West Division)
  • 7 seed (1): 2015

NCAA Seeding Record Since 2011

Years with an NCAA win are in bold.

  • 11 seed (1): 2013 (at-large)
  • 12 seed (1): 2016
  • 14 seed (3): 2014, 2015, 2019
  • 15 seed (2): 2017, 2018
  • 16 seed (4): 2011, 2012, 2013 (automatic)

And the inability of the conference to place its strongest team in the NCAAs has led to seeding issues with just two Sun Belt representatives being seeded higher than 14th since the field expanded to 68. Making matters worse, the teams responsible for most of the Sun Belt’s recent tournament success—the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders, North Texas Mean Green, and Western Kentucky Hilltoppers—are all in C-USA now with the Mean Green headed to the American eventually. Georgia State, which won a game in 2015, remains, but the head coach of that team, Ron Hunter, is now at Tulane.

This year’s champ is likely to be a 15 or 16 seed, simply because no team has a profile that stands out among the mid-major competition.

Last NCAA Tournament Appearances

Appalachian State: 2021 (16 seed, 1st Round)
Georgia State: 2019 (14 seed, 1st Round)
Troy: 2017 (15 seed, 1st Round)
Little Rock: 2016 (12 seed, 2nd Round)
Coastal Carolina: 2015 (16 seed, Round of 64, Big South member)
Louisiana: 2014 (14 seed, Round of 64)
South Alabama: 2008 (10 seed, at-large, 1st Round)
UT Arlington: 2008 (16 seed, 1st Round, Southland member)
Arkansas State: 1999 (15 seed, 1st Round)
Texas State: 1997 (16 seed, 1st Round, Southland member)
ULM: 1996 (15 seed, 1st Round, Southland member)
Georgia Southern: 1992 (15 seed, 1st Round, TAAC (ASUN) member)

While all 12 current Sun Belt members have qualified for at least one NCAA Tournament, five teams have yet to do so while a member of the conference. In the cases of UT Arlington and Georgia Southern, they’re multiple leagues removed from their last bids. The Mavericks and Little Rock will also be playing in this event for the final time. Both will be headed out of the Sun Belt as part of the latest wave of realignment, since neither sponsors football. UTA is WAC bound, while the Trojans will join the OVC.