power

This week’s power rankings saw more movement than last week. Upset victories helped some lower ranked teams take over some mid-table spots, while some of the worst teams in the Sun Belt Conference stayed in the spots they had last week.

As the season starts to wind down, we could be seeing some movement every week in these power rankings. No team is safe as we get closer to the month of March.

Here are my third Sun Belt power rankings for the 2019-20 season:

Men’s Basketball

Little Rock (18-7, 12-2)

Last week’s ranking: 1

Little Rock stays in first after it extended its winning streak to seven games last weekend.

A tough road trip to Texas looms for the Trojans. Two wins there would be convincing enough to keep them in this spot again next week.

Georgia State (16-9, 9-5)

Last week’s ranking: 2

No change here as Georgia State stays in second place like last week. The Panthers will host Appalachian State and Coastal Carolina at home this week. Those are tough opponents, you never know what you’re going to get from them.

Don’t be surprised to see Georgia State in a lower spot next week if it loses one of its games against the Carolina schools.

Georgia Southern (15-10, 9-5)

Last week’s ranking: 5

Georgia Southern moves up this week because of its current two-game win streak. Like Georgia State, the Eagles have two straight home games against the Carolina schools.

Don’t be surprised to see the Eagles and Panthers fighting for second place next week.

Appalachian State (14-11, 8-6)

Last week’s ranking: 7

Appalachian State was one of the biggest risers this week, as the Mountaineers were in seventh place last week.

The Mountaineers enter this week on a two-game win streak, but things don’t look easy in their upcoming schedule. Appalachian State faces the two schools above it this week, so we could see some major movement in the rankings if the Mountaineers pull out wins against both Georgia schools.

Texas State (15-10, 8-6)

Last week’s ranking: 3

Texas State fell behind Appalachian State because of their most recent head-to-head matchup. The Bobcats fell to the Mountaineers by a score of 60-57.

The Bobcats have a tough slate ahead of them as Little Rock and Arkansas State travel to San Marcos this week. One loss here combined with strong wins from South Alabama and Coastal Carolina could see the Bobcats fall more than one spot.

South Alabama (14-11, 7-7)

Last week’s ranking: 8

South Alabama is helping keep things close throughout the middle portion of this week’s power rankings. Two big wins over Georgia Southern and Troy helped the Jaguars move up two spots.

The upcoming schedule looks favorable for South Alabama, as it faces Louisiana and Louisiana-Monroe this week. The Jaguars could move up two spots with two wins against the Louisiana schools.

Coastal Carolina (13-12, 6-8)

Last week’s ranking: 9

A big win against UTA helped the Chanticleers jump over the Mavericks this week. Coastal Carolina’s stay in the seventh spot could be short as it faces both Georgia schools on the road this week.

If UTA can bounce back with a win, expect the Mavericks to take this spot next week.

UTA (10-15, 6-8)

Last week’s ranking: 6

UTA fell to eighth place because of its recent two-game losing streak. A 14-point loss to Coastal Carolina helped me move the Mavericks down to this spot.

The Mavericks aren’t lower than Arkansas State because they are entering a five-game home stand. Both schools face off on Thursday, so if UTA can win two games this week it can move up at least two spots.

Arkansas State (15-10, 7-7)

Last week’s ranking: 4

Arkansas State fell from fourth to ninth this week because of a three-game losing streak. A head-to-head matchup with UTA could see the Red Wolves move up at least one spot next week.

Games against UTA and Texas State don’t seem easy for the Red Wolves, so this stretch could decide a lot for Arkansas State’s season.

Louisiana (10-15, 5-9)

Last week’s ranking: 11

Louisiana moved up one spot from last week despite losing its most recent game. A midweek win against Georgia State helped me place the Ragin’ Cajuns in this spot.

The Ragin’ Cajuns have beaten some good teams this season, so if they can pull off wins against Troy and South Alabama this week then we can see them move up a few spots.

Troy (9-16, 5-9)

Last week’s ranking: 10

Troy was very close to Louisiana this week because it also pulled off a recent win over Georgia State. The Trojans’ Saturday game against Louisiana will help decide who takes 10th and 11th next week.

Louisiana-Monroe (6-17, 2-12)

Last week’s ranking: 12

As expected, Louisiana-Monroe lost to both Georgia schools last week. The Warhawks travel to Alabama this week. They have a long way to go before they leave this last spot.

Women’s Basketball

Troy (19-3, 10-1)

Last week’s ranking: 1

The Trojans extended their win streak to seven games last week. A big game against Coastal Carolina on Thursday could decide if Troy stays in first next week.

If Troy can make it past the Chanticleers this week, their schedule looks favorable for the rest of the season.

Coastal Carolina (19-3, 9-2)

Last week’s ranking: 2

The Chanticleers came out of a long Texas road trip with two wins over UTA and Texas State last week. As I mentioned above, this week’s game against Troy could help decide who takes the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament.

Changes could be coming to the top spot.

Little Rock (10-12, 8-3)

Last week’s ranking: 3

A loss against Georgia State ended a five-game win streak for the Trojans. I placed them in third this week because they face Texas State at home Thursday.

A pair of home wins this week could help Little Rock fight for the second spot next week.

South Alabama (12-11, 7-4)

Last week’s ranking: 7

Last week I said South Alabama needed to get three wins in its next four games to keep pace with the rest of the conference. The Jaguars scored two convincing wins over Louisiana and Louisiana-Monroe last week, making it easier to move them over the three schools below them.

South Alabama has a tough road stretch coming up, traveling to face Appalachian State and Coastal Carolina. If the Jaguars can pull off an upset over the Chanticleers, we could see them move up at least two more spots.

UTA (13-10, 7-4)

Last week’s ranking: 4

The Lady Mavericks moved down a spot this week because they have lost three of their last four games. The last game they lost was against Coastal Carolina by a score of 80-62.

UTA faces a tough challenge this week with games against Arkansas State and Little Rock on the road. If they can win both of those games, the Lady Mavericks could be back in the top three next week.

Louisiana (13-9, 6-5)

Last week’s ranking: 5

Louisiana only fell one spot from last week, despite losing its last three games. I placed the Ragin’ Cajuns above Arkansas State this week because they host the Georgia schools at home this week.

Two wins there could help them get back in the fifth spot next week.

Arkansas State (9-13, 6-5)

Last week’s ranking: 6

Arkansas State fell to the seventh spot because it is on a two-game losing streak. Those losses came against Georgia State and Georgia Southern.

Things don’t look easier for the Red Wolves as they face the Lady Mavericks at home this week. I could see them defeating Texas State at home, but I don’t see them winning against UTA.

Arkansas State might stay in this spot again next week.

Georgia Southern (7-15, 4-7)

Last week’s ranking: 9

Georgia Southern moved up one spot this week because of its recent win against Arkansas State. The victory helped the Eagles put an end to a three-game losing streak.

The Eagles have a chance to move up this week as they travel to face Louisiana-Monroe and Louisiana. I could see them picking up at least one win there.

Appalachian State (7-15, 4-7)

Last week’s ranking: 8

Appalachian State fell one spot this week because of its loss to UTA early last week. The Mountaineers picked up a win over Texas State, but Georgia Southern’s win over Arkansas State looked a little bit better.

The Mountaineers can’t catch a break this week, as they face South Alabama and Troy at home. They might move down at least one spot next week.

Georgia State (6-16, 3-8)

Last week’s ranking: 11

Georgia State moved up one spot over Texas State because of its upset victory against Little Rock last week. The Panthers face Louisiana and Louisiana-Monroe on the road this week, and I could see them picking up at least one win there.

The Panthers could move up at least one spot next week, with one win in their next two games.

Texas State (8-14, 1-10)

Last week’s ranking: 10

Texas State moved down one spot this week because it is on a two-game losing streak. Matchups against Little Rock and Arkansas State are coming up for the Bobcats, so their schedule doesn’t get any easier. I could still see them taking 11th over Louisiana-Monroe next week.

Louisiana-Monroe (3-19, 1-10)

Last week’s ranking: 12

Louisiana-Monroe is on a six-game losing streak. Things look tough for the rest of the season. Expect the Warhawks and Texas State to battle it out for this spot over the next few weeks.

@c_amaya7

sports-editor.shorthorn@uta.edu

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