Big night for Denver
Denver hosts Louisiana-Lafayette this evening at 5:00 PM in a huge game for both teams in terms of Sun Belt Tournament seeding position. To review, below are the current standings in the SBC for seeds #2 through #6. Significance: seeds #2-5 get byes into the quarterfinals; #6 does not. Also, #2 and #3 are on the opposite site of the bracket from near-certain #1 seed Middle Tennessee; #4 and #5 are not. So, if you’re Denver, you want to aim for the #3 seed (#2 looks highly unlikely at this point), and at all costs you want to avoid the #6 seed.
2. UALR 9-3 (games remaining: FIU, @Troy, North Texas, Arkansas State)
3. Louisiana-Lafayette 9-4 (@Denver, @North Texas, LA-Monroe)
4. Denver 8-5 (LA-Lafayette, LA-Monroe, North Texas)
5. Florida Atlantic 7-5 (@Western Kentucky, @MTSU, South Alabama, Troy)
6. North Texas 7-5 (LA-Monroe, LA-Lafayette, @UALR, @Denver)
FIU@UALR, ULL@Denver, Monroe@UNT and FAU@WKU are all tonight. Somewhat counter-intuitively, Denver may want UALR to beat FIU, because any possible tiebreakers become more dicey for Denver if UALR is involved, considering the Pioneers went 0-2 against the Trojans. On the other hand, wins by LA-Monroe and WKU over North Texas and FAU, respectively, would be helpful, but not essential (though they’d become closer to essential if Denver loses to Lafayette).
Bottom line, to stay in the race for a #3 seed, and to stay out of the picture for the dreaded #6 seed, the Pioneers need to win tonight.