The South Alabama Jaguars (19-15, 9-9 Sun Belt) have had a fine season but were swept by the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns (25-7, 13-5 Sun Belt) who await them tonight. With the stakes now, the games in the regular season mean next to nothing.
South Alabama’s journey to the championship game began on Thursday, with a seven-point win, followed by a pair of wins that were more convincing. The Jaguars have won eight of their last nine games, with the lone loss coming to the Rajin’ Cajuns. With a 5-1 record in neutral court games this season, paired with their recent play, they have to feel confident heading into tonight.
Louisiana should feel confident, too, considering they’re now 4-0 on neutral floors. The Rajin’ Cajuns have only had to play twice in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament but passed both tests without trailing for a single second. An NCAA Tournament bid awaits them if they can knock off South Alabama for a third time.
Tonight has the chance to both reward a special season and mark the beginning of an unforgettable run. Let’s see what will happen when the South Alabama Jaguars and Louisiana Rajin’ Cajuns throw down for the third time.
South Alabama vs. Louisiana Betting Odds
|South Alabama||+1.5 (-110)||Over 139.5 (-110)||+100|
|Louisiana||-1.5 (-110)||Under 139.5 (-110)||-120|
South Alabama vs. Louisiana Match Details
Fixture: South Alabama Jaguars @ Louisiana Rajin’ Cajuns
Date and Time: Monday, March 6, 2023, 7:00 p.m. EST
Venue: Pensacola Bay Center
South Alabama vs. Louisiana Key Stats
When basketball fans talked about the Rajin’ Cajuns this season, they weren’t talking about the Marvel mutant Gambit, although Louisiana’s offense is similarly dangerous. After their first two Sun Belt Tournament games, Louisiana’s field goal percentage is 48.4% as a team, 18th in the nation and first in the conference. Their three-point percentage is also first in the Sun Belt at 37.5%, a number that’s 30th nationally.
Don’t sleep on South Alabama’s offense either. The Jaguars aren’t as proficient from beyond the arc, but they hit a respectable 34.7% of their attempts. However, from the field, they aren’t far behind Louisiana, with a 46.9% field goal percentage that was second in the Sun Belt and 54th in the country.
On defense, the Jaguars have the edge. They held foes to 28.9% from three, which not only led the conference but was seventh nationally. Overall, opponents only shot 41.8% against South Alabama and that was 64th in the nation. Louisiana’s opponents shot 44.1% from the field and 34.0% from deep.
When the teams met, the games were tight throughout, but Louisiana was able to win for two reasons. They were better from the free-throw line in both games and were +22 in rebounding between the two contests.
South Alabama vs. Louisiana Betting Prediction
The Jaguars had the worst rebounding margin in the Sun Belt and attempted the fourth-fewest free throws per game this season among every team in the nation. Meanwhile, Louisiana had the best rebounding margin in the Sun Belt and attempted the 32nd-most free throws per game. Those are the little things that make all the difference, especially in March. South Alabama has seen it haunt them twice already against Louisiana, and it should haunt them again tonight. The Rajin’ Cajuns are too good offensively to also get extra possessions and more free throws. Take Louisiana to cover.