Both the UNT men’s and women’s basketball teams will face Louisiana-Lafayette in the opening round of the Sun Belt Conference tournament on Friday in Hot Springs, Ark.
The UNT women are the No. 6 seed and will face the 11th-seeded Ragin’ Cajuns in a 2:30 p.m. game at Summit Arena. The UNT men are the No. 9 seed and take on ULL, the No. 8 seed, at 6:30 p.m. on the Convocation Center Court.
So, what does it all mean?
It’s not a matchup I particularly like for the UNT men. ULL absolutely hammered UNT 105-74 a few weeks ago in Lafayette and beat the Mean Green by two at the Super Pit early in the season.
They say it’s hard to beat a team three times in a year, but I don’t put a whole lot of stock in that.
What could make this game problematic for UNT is that ULL will get out there and run with the Mean Green and can match up athletically. Shawn Long started out at Mississippi State and at 6-foot-9 is one of the few players out there in the Sun Belt who can match up with Tony Mitchell. Elfrid Payton and Bryant Mbamalu are very athletic in the backcourt.
UNT is short on players and will have to hope that Chris Jones will be close to being back to full speed. He is one guy who can help UNT match up with ULL. He had 23 points in UNT’s loss to ULL in the teams’ first meeting of the season. He didn’t play in the second game.
Jordan Williams had a monster game with 31 points in the teams’ second game and UNT still struggled.
ULL was able to keep the ball away from Tony Mitchell, who had just 10 points in the two games combined.
The Cajuns will score. It could be a matter if UNT will have enough firepower to keep up.
The matchup with ULL is much more favorable for the UNT women, who hammered the Cajuns twice in the regular season and should roll. UNT is just a better team.