Tiny Dancers: Ron Hunter hurt in Georgia State’s Sun Belt celebration

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Georgia State will be in the tournament for the first time since 2001. (USATSI)

No one completed the #Questfor40 in the Sun Belt conference tournament final, but the game was not dull, at least at the end, despite the lack of points. Georgia State will be dancing for the first time since 2001 after beating Georgia Southern 38-36 behind a big performance from Kevin Ware.

Ware was the only player in double figures in the low-scoring affair, leading the Panthers with 18 points and five rebounds. Ware, the Sun Belt tournament MVP, will make his first appearance in the NCAA tournament since his gruesome leg injury with Louisville two years ago.

As Georgia State celebrated its first bid to the NCAA tournament in more than a decade, coach R.J. Hunter, memorable for his postgame celebration when he was at IUPIU, suffered an injury and had to be helped off the floor.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Hunter suffered a torn achilles in the celebration. But he was still all smiles, on crutches, during the postgame ceremony, and even lowered the goal so that hey could cut down the net!

The Vitals:

  • Record: 24-9 overall, 15-5 in the Sun Belt
  • Most recent tournament appearance: 2001 (Lost in the Round of 32 to Maryland as an 11 seed)
  • Jerry Palm predicts: 13 seed
  • RPI: 61
  • KenPom ranking: 71
  • Sagarin ranking: 79
  • Best wins: vs. Green Bay, vs. Louisiana
  • Worst losses: at Appalachian State, at Arkansas Little Rock
  • Notable stat: 19.4. The scoring average of Ryan Harrow, one of the Sun Belt’s top players this season. The former NC State and Kentucky guard has been held back by a hamstring injury recently, and his availability could play a big role in the Panthers’ chances of winning a game next week.
  • Closing quip: Ron Hunter has Georgia State running as the class of the Sun Belt right now, but the Panthers have finally broken through with a tournament win and NCAA tournament appearance. Kevin Ware and Ryan Harrow, who made only a brief appearance in the Sun Belt championship game because of an injured hamstring, are no strangers to the big stage, but I expect R.J. Hunter to be the star if the Panthers are going to knock off a single-digit seed in the Round of 64.

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