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North Texas (20-10, 10-8) knocked off Louisiana-Lafayette in Sun Belt Tournament first-round action, and now sets its sights on the conference championship. The Mean Green will first have to take on Louisiana-Monroe in the quarterfinals today at 3 p.m. in Lafayette, La.
This year’s North Texas squad is looking to reverse the Mean Green’s recent luck in Sun Belt Conference Tournament action. The Mean Green’s 93-78 first-round victory over Louisiana-Lafayette marks its second in Sun Belt Conference Tournament action. North Texas took an 84-71 win over Florida International in the first round of the 2002 tournament, head coach Johnny Jones’ first season in Denton.
NT has yet to advance past the second round of the SBC Tourney, but has had success in tournament play in the past. North Texas got out of the first round of eight Southland Conference Tournaments, including the 1987-88 championship season that sent the Mean Green to its only NCAA Tournament appearance.
North Texas became only the fifth team in school history to record 20 wins in a season when it knocked off Ragin’ Cajuns in the opening round of the Sun Belt Tournament. The Mean Green has its best record since 1977-78 (22-6) and has advanced in the SBC Tourney for only the second time - the first since 2002.
The Mean Green has made no secret about how it has gotten this far hot shooting. Calvin Watson has made a full-on assault on the record books this year, becoming the program’s all-time three point king. Watson has hit 197 career threes, and is only two shy of the single-season mark. The senior is currently in 11th place with 1,186 career points, only 21 shy of the top-10 list. Watson was named to the third-team All-Sun Belt this year.