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Sun Belt Tournament Championship 2012: North Texas Goes Head-To-Head With Western Kentucky

After No. 1 seed Middle Tennessee State and No. 3 seed Denver were upset earlier in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament, North Texas has a chance to make the NCAA Tournament without playing a team seeded higher than No. 5.

They defeated the No. 9 seed Arkansas State on Monday night 76-72 and now play No. 7 seed Western Kentucky in the conference championship Tuesday.

It's the third straight championship game appearance for Johnny Jones' program: they lost 64-43 to Arkansas-Little Rock last season after defeating Troy 66-63 in 2010.

Western Kentucky, like North Texas, has overcome a mediocre regular season to go on a real run in the conference tournament, winning three straight games and taking down the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds in the process.

If the Hilltoppers, at 14-18 overall, manage to upset the Mean Green, the Sun Belt will be represented by a team with a losing record in the NCAA Tournament. Indeed, there's a good chance that whoever wins the game will be sent to play in the First Four on the Tuesday before the first round of the Big Dance.

Game time/date: 7:00 p.m. EST, Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Location: Summit Arena, Hot Springs, Ark.

TV: ESPN2/ESPN3

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.