PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) – The Sun Belt Tournament tips off Friday in Pensacola.
Richie Riley and the Jaguars will take on Louisiana-Monroe Friday night at the Pensacola Baycenter to begin tournament play. Tip off is scheduled for 5:30 PM.
Last weekend, South Alabama had a chance to clinch the Sun Belt East Division championship, and earn a first round bye in the tournament. Georgia State, however, swept the Jaguars at The Mitchell Center to win the division title.
The two losses dropped South Alabama to the third seed in the East, and they lost their first round bye.
“We have to make sure we’re fresh enough to battle as long as we can,” said Riley. “Hopefully we can find a way to win on Friday to advance, that’s what it’s all about.”
“There’s no reason we can’t gut it out at the end here when it’s win or go home,” Riley continued.
Last year, South Alabama entered the Sun Belt Tournament as the #2 overall seed, earning a double-bye. The tournament was cancelled though due to COVID-19.
This year’s Jaguar team will be playing for those seniors that didn’t get their ‘One Shining Moment’ last year.
“March Madness is the most exciting thing in college basketball. Getting a chance to go down there means a lot our team and it means a lot to me,” said Riley. “All the guys that were seniors last year that we lost, sent in videos encouraging our guys. They’re following closely, and I challenge our guys to do it for them.”
The South Alabama women’s basketball team will also begin Sun Belt Tournament play Friday afternoon. The Lady Jaguars will play Arkansas State at 2:00 PM at Pensacola State College.