Now that the Sun Belt Conference Tournament is over the field for the Big Dance just got a little meaner.
In the tournament final the North Texas Mean Green faced the Troy Trojans with the Mean Green a small 1-point favorite at Sportsbook. North Texas won and covered in a 66-63 victory to earn their spot in the field of 65. The Trojans are at least guaranteed a trip to the NIT, but remain on the bubble for the Big Dance as a long shot to be called out on selection Sunday.
In Tuesday night’s final Eric Tramiel had a big game for the Mean Green with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Leading scorer Josh White was held to 11 points on 3-of-11 shooting, but he came through when needed with what turned out to be the game-sealing jumper with 22 seconds remaining.
The Mean Green are back in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2007. That year they had a short ride in the Big Dance as a No. 12 seed. They were one and done after falling to No. 5 seed Memphis 73-58 in the Sportsbook round. Before their quick exit in 2007 the Mean Green’s last tournament berth was way back in 1988.
This season North Texas was a solid 24-8 SU, which included posting a 13-5 record in the Sun Belt. The Mean Green were also a smart pick for bettors most nights with a 17-6-2 record ATS. There’s no doubt that North Texas will be an underdog in their tournament opener and during the regular season they were 4-5 SU and 8-1-1 ATS when listed as the underdog.