Tuesday, December 29, 2015

2015/16 Sun Belt Conference Basketball Predictions.

Wednesday marks the start of the Sun Belt conference play for most basketball teams. So that means I roll out my predictions, where I get to exercise the ability to analyze the teams non-conference results and judge where they stand. I'm going to do something bold for the first time, but first, let's start with the men.

The coaches had the following thoughts as to how the final standings would appear:
1UL Lafayette119 (9)
2Georgia State108 (2)
3UL Monroe97
4Arkansas State71
5Little Rock68
6Appalachian State64
7South Alabama56
8UT Arlington48

Texas State48
10Georgia Southern28

Whoa boy do I disagree. The Sun Belt looks stronger than at any point during UTA's tenure and if the chips fall the right way, have the potential to be a two-bid conference come March Madness.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Non-Conference Play has Concluded

Since I became a Maverick in 2000, there has never been a more exciting time in UT Arlington basketball history than right now. In fact, looking back at the history of the program, I think I can say that with the possible exception of two-three years in the early 1980's, both teams have never been as national competitive as they are now. The men have made national, attention-grabbing wins (after being picked as the eighth best team in the 11-member Sun Belt by the coaches) and the women performed near expectations.

I'll break it down, starting with the men's team.

UTA opened the year with Fordham. They took control early, and looked like they would follow previous year's teams and watch the lead disappear. However, they made stops when they needed to and pulled out a 77-72 win. Fordham is not a powerhouse team, having won only ten games or less each of the past seven seasons and not having a winning record since 2006/07. Yet, they, like the Mavericks, have been more than was expected, as they sport a 9-2 record. It was a solid win, though no one knew it at the time.