Bob Marlin

UL men's basketball coach Bob Marlin's Cajuns will be opening the 2019-20 Sun Belt Conference schedule against the two Arkansas schools.

The Sun Belt Conference announced its 2019-20 men’s basketball conference schedule on Tuesday, and for the seventh straight season, the UL Ragin’ Cajuns’ opening weekend will include the Arkansas schools … well, sort of.

The first Sun Belt Conference season begins on Wednesday, Dec. 18 in Jonesboro, Ark., with coach Bob Marlin’s Cajuns visiting the Red Wolves.

The rest of the Sun Belt teams will open on Thursday, Dec. 19.

The Cajuns then will then travel back to Lafayette to meet Little Rock in the Cajundome on Dec. 21. That will begin a three-game home league stretch with the Alabama schools visiting the Cajundome to begin the 2020 part of the schedule – South Alabama on Thursday, Jan. 2 and Troy on Saturday, Jan. 4.

It’ll be the fourth straight year the Cajuns open conference play with the Arkansas schools and technically the sixth time in the last seven years. The only year it didn’t take place was in 2013-14 when Appalachian State opened in Lafayette for a single-game weekend prior to Coastal Carolina joining the league. But even that year, the first full weekend was, of course, against the Arkansas schools.

Overall, the Sun Belt moves back to a 20-game conference schedule for men's basketball for the first time since the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons. The upcoming season's conference slate will keep a primary Thursday-Saturday format with league contests played against travel partners for two-game road trips to maximize rest, minimize travel times and limit missed class time.

The conference will once again employ a schedule format for its men's and women's basketball conference games to be played on the same days of the week but with games at different home sites per gender. Selected rivalry games may be played as doubleheaders if requested by the competing institutions.

Tip times for conference games will be announced by each institution. Select game dates may be adjusted for live coverage on the ESPN family of networks. The conference's men's and women's basketball broadcast schedule will be announced prior to the start of the season.

The 2020 Sun Belt Men’s Basketball Championship will once again see 10 vying for the tournament title and the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship. First-round games on Saturday, March 7, second-round games on Monday, March 9 and quarterfinal games on Wednesday, March 11 will be held on campus sites and hosted by the higher seeds. The semifinals on Saturday, March 14 and championship game on Sunday, March 15 will be held at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans. The No. 1 and No. 2 seeds will receive byes directly to the semifinals, the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds will receive byes and host the quarterfinal games, the No. 5 and No. 6 seeds will host the second-round games and the No. 7 and No. 8 seeds will host the first-round games.

 All nine games of the championship are slated for live coverage on the ESPN family of networks.

2019-20 SUN BELT MEN'S BASKETBALL CONFERENCE SCHEDULE

Wednesday, December 18

UL at Arkansas State

Thursday, December 19

Appalachian State at South Alabama

Little Rock at ULM

Coastal Carolina at Troy

Texas State at Georgia Southern

UTA at Georgia State

Saturday, December 21

Appalachian State at Troy

Little Rock at UL

Arkansas State at ULM

Coastal Carolina at South Alabama

UTA at Georgia Southern

Texas State at Georgia State

Thursday, January 2

Georgia State at Appalachian State

Texas State at Little Rock

UTA at Arkansas State

Georgia Southern at Coastal Carolina

South Alabama at UL

Troy at ULM 

Saturday, January 4

Georgia Southern at Appalachian State

UTA at Little Rock

Texas State at Arkansas State

Georgia State at Coastal Carolina

Troy at UL

South Alabama at ULM

Monday, January 6

UL at Appalachian State

Georgia Southern at Little Rock

Georgia State at Arkansas State

ULM at Coastal Carolina

South Alabama at UTA

Troy at Texas State

Thursday, January 9

Appalachian State at UTA

Little Rock at Troy

Arkansas State at South Alabama

Coastal Carolina at Texas State

ULM at Georgia Southern

UL at Georgia State

Saturday, January 11

Appalachian State at Texas State

South Alabama at Little Rock

Troy at Arkansas State

Coastal Carolina at UTA

UL at Georgia Southern

ULM at Georgia State

Thursday, January 16

Arkansas State at Appalachian State

Little Rock at Coastal Carolina

Georgia Southern at Troy

Georgia State at South Alabama

UTA at UL

Texas State at ULM

Saturday, January 18

Little Rock at Appalachian State

Arkansas State at Coastal Carolina

Georgia Southern at South Alabama

Georgia State at Troy

Texas State at UL

UTA at ULM

Thursday, January 23

Troy at Little Rock

South Alabama at Arkansas State

Saturday, January 25

Appalachian State at Coastal Carolina

Little Rock at South Alabama

Arkansas State at Troy

Georgia State at Georgia Southern

ULM at UL

UTA at Texas State

Thursday, January 30

Appalachian State at Arkansas State

Coastal Carolina at Little Rock

Troy at Georgia Southern

South Alabama at Georgia State

UL at UTA

ULM at Texas State

Saturday, February 1

Appalachian State at Little Rock

Coastal Carolina at Arkansas State

South Alabama at Georgia Southern

Troy at Georgia State

UL at Texas State

ULM at UTA

Thursday, February 6

UTA at Appalachian State

Texas State at Coastal Carolina

Georgia Southern at ULM

Georgia State at UL

Saturday, February 8

Texas State at Appalachian State

Arkansas State at Little Rock

UTA at Coastal Carolina

Georgia Southern at UL

Georgia State at ULM

South Alabama at Troy

Thursday, February 13

Appalachian State at Georgia State

Little Rock at Texas State

Arkansas State at UTA

Coastal Carolina at Georgia Southern

UL at South Alabama

ULM at Troy

Saturday, February 15

Appalachian State at Georgia Southern

Little Rock at UTA

Arkansas State at Texas State

Coastal Carolina at Georgia State

UL at Troy

ULM at South Alabama

Thursday, February 20

South Alabama at Appalachian State

Troy at Coastal Carolina

Georgia Southern at Texas State

Georgia State at UTA

Saturday, February 22

Troy at Appalachian State

Little Rock at Arkansas State

South Alabama at Coastal Carolina

Georgia Southern at UTA

Georgia State at Texas State

UL at ULM

Wednesday, February 26

Arkansas State at UL

Thursday, February 27

ULM at Little Rock

Saturday, February 29

Coastal Carolina at Appalachian State

UL at Little Rock

ULM at Arkansas State

Georgia Southern at Georgia State

Troy at South Alabama

Texas State at UTA

Tuesday, March 3

Appalachian State at ULM

Little Rock at Georgia State

Arkansas State at Georgia Southern

Coastal Carolina at UL

Texas State at South Alabama

UTA at Troy

2020 SUN BELT MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP

First Round at Campus Sites

Saturday, March 7

Game 1 - No. 9 Seed at No. 8 Seed

Game 2 - No. 10 Seed at No. 7 Seed

Second Round at Campus Sites

Monday, March 9

Game 3 - Game 1 Winner at No. 5 Seed

Game 4 - Game 2 Winner at No. 6 Seed

Quarterfinals at Campus Sites

Wednesday, March 11

Game 5 - Game 3 Winner at No. 4 Seed

Game 6 - Game 4 Winner at No. 3 Seed

Semifinals at Smoothie King Center

Saturday, March 14

Game 7 - Game 5 Winner vs. No. 1 Seed

Game 8 - Game 6 Winner vs. No. 2 Seed

Championship Game at Smoothie King Center

Sunday, March 15

Game 9 - Game 7 Winner vs. Game 8 Winner