In 2017, Troy finished 7th in the Sun Belt regular season basketball standings, but rode a hot streak through the SBC Tournament to win the conference NCAA Tournament auto-bid. The world was treated to the Trojans being unceremoniously pounded by Duke 87-65 in the Dance’s opening round.
The Sun Belt had enough of that shit. In 2017, Texas State was clearly the best team and was the conference’s only chance at making even the slightest rumble in NCAA. Exercising immense powers, the SBC began retooling the tournament format, dividing the conference into two divisions and ultimately deciding that the top two finishers of each division receive a first round bye.
This season, in which COVID-19 made everything stupid, the ploy nearly worked.
As largely scripted, three of the top four teams (Texas State, Georgia State and Louisiana) reached the semi-finals, with only Appalachian State (7-8 in conference) playing the spoiler. But then the usual Sun Belt Entropy took over in the finals, with the Mountaineers handling the Panthers 80-73 and wondering how much underwear to pack for the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Honestly, nobody from the Sun Belt deserves to Dance. We’re all just awful. Our representative may as well be Appalachian State, who boasts a 210 NET ranking and lost to Tennessee earlier this season 79-38. The Mountaineers are Sun Belt basketball to a tee. My glass is raised to thee.