North Texas (Sun Belt) at Texas-Arlington (Southland)
Texas Hall - Arlington, TX
8:05 PM EST
Are you ready? Are you ready to Take It To The Stage?
No, not that Stage... this one.
Two 3-0 teams will go at it tonight in Arlington, ranked 28th (UNT) and 39th (UTA) in the early version of the RPI. Despite all that, they'll try their hardest not to fall into the audience.
You may remember North Texas from such brackets as 2007, as they're the defending Sun Belt champs. The Mean Green didn't win at the NCAA's, but they did take down Oklahoma State last week in an 82-73 Big XII beatdown at the Super Pit. They're averaging 88.7 points per game on the young season, and have found an electrifying scorer in 5-10 freshman Josh White, the reigning SBC player of the week, who was carried off the floor all Rudy
-like after scoring 25 points in the OSU upset. One outlet called him the 10th best player in Louisiana last year! How did they get this guy?
UTA won this matchup last year on a buzzer-beater, and this is a far better team than the 2006-07 version. The Mavericks lead Hoops Nation in field-goal percentage at 59.3, and have hit an eye-popping 74 percent of their 2-point shots. That is patently ludicrous, but true. And these weren't D-II teams or anything, their wins are versus UALR, Texas Southern and UC-Riverside. Jermaine Griffin, a 6-8 senior who I've been plugging as a possible Southland POY candidate all summer, has gone 15-for-18 from the floor on the way to a team-leading 19.0 ppg. Make my
funk the J.G.-funk.
Honorable g!o!t!n! mention to Davidson at Western Michigan
, the obvious choice. Maybe too obvious. That'll be a good one too.UTARL 72, NTEX 64