Men's Basketball Race Heating Up

After a rough night in Lafayette, the Arkansas State Red Wolves have hit the favorable part of the schedule.

Sitting fourth and in a battle for the runner-up spot in the Sun Belt Conference standings, which brings a bye to the semifinals of the conference tourney, the Red Wolves (14-9) will not leave the state in their final seven games.

Starting Thursday, A-State, sitting a game behind second-place Western Kentucky, has Texas-Arlington (11-13, 6-6) at home to open a stretch where six on their final games are in Jonesboro. The other me is a trip to UALR on March 1.

Georgia State (17-7, 10-1) still has a comfortable 3-game lead heading down the home stretch and will likely hold on to that. The race for second spot is what is important.

If the current standings were to hold through the end of the season, AState would face the winner of Troy and UALR in the quarterfinals with winner of that quarterfinal game facing league leader Georgia State in the semifinals.

Here is how the schedule breaks down for the three contenders.

WESTERN Kentucky (17-9, 9-4): ULM, at Texas State, at Texas-Arlington, ULL, at Georgia State.

UL-LAFAYETTE (17-9, 8-5): Troy, at Georgia State, South Alabama, at Western Kentucky, at Arkansas State.

Arkansas STATE: UTA, Texas State, at UALR, Georgia State, ULM, ULL. (The Red Wolves also have a non-conference game with Lyon.)