The Georgia State men’s basketball team will open its season on Friday hosting Tennessee Temple.
The Panthers are the defending Sun Belt regular-season champions, but failed to make it to the NCAA Tournament after losing to Louisiana-Lafayette in the finals of the conference tournament in New Orleans.
Still, with the return of player of the year and leading scorer R.J. Hunter, second-leading scorer and preseason first-team guard Ryan Harrow, starting center Curtis Washington, key bench players, T.J. Shipes, Markus Crider and Ryann Green, and the addition of Kevin Ware, who transferred from Louisville, the Panthers are a chic pick for the NCAA Tournament.
Here are a few NCAA Tournament projections:
Has Georgia State as a No. 12 seed in the Midwest facing former CAA friend VCU. SI picks the Rams to advance.
Has Georgia State as a No. 9 seed in the East playing No. 8 UCLA.
Interesting numbers to note:
Nineteen No. 12 seeds have advanced as far as the Sweet 16 in the tournament.
Just one No. 12 seed has advanced to the Elite Eight. That was Missouri in 2002.