Florida International and Western Kentucky will play in the finals of the Sun Belt tournament tonight.
Who saw that coming? I sure didn’t.
FIU and first-year head coach Richard Pitino stunned Middle Tennessee in the semifinals 61-57, while WKU beat Arkansas State 58-56.
Pitino has had a remarkable first year at FIU, winning 18 games and taking the Golden Panthers to the verge of making the NCAA tournament.
FIU’s 12 fans are thrilled.
MTSU never seems to be able to get over the hump and get that NCAA bid. The debate will now be if the Blue Raiders did enough while winning 28 games to get in.
It’s the Sun Belt.
The answer is likely no.
At the beginning of the year, the expectation was MTSU and UNT would meet in the final. UNT suffered a string of injuries, never seemed to fully adapt to a new system under Tony Benford and didn’t get out of the first round.
The women’s tournament played out about like everyone expected. It’s Middle Tennessee and Arkansas-Little Rock in the title game.
MTSU has been the best team in the league all year. Both the Blue Raiders the Trojans likely need to win to get into the NCAA tournament.