NCAA tournament team previews: Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns
As part of its preview of the 2014 NCAA men’s basketball tournament, SI.com is taking a look at all 68 teams in the field. RPI and SOS data from realtimerpi.com. Adjusted offense and defense are from kenpom.com and measure the number of points scored and allowed per 100 possessions, and the team's national rank. For more teams, click here.
Record: 23-11, 11-7 in Sun Belt Conference
Adjusted offense/Adjusted defense: 109.7 (74th) / 105.7 (193rd)
Seed: No. 14 in West
Impact player: Shawn Long, sophomore forward. 18.9 ppg, 10.4 reb, 2.8 blk, .525 fg, .437 3pt
The Case For:
The Ragin' Cajuns showed a lot of heart in their overtime win to beat favored Georgia State in the Sun Belt title game. The two-man combo of Shawn Long and Elfrid Payton is strong enough to hang with a bunch of major conference foes. Louisiana-Lafayette gets a bunch of offense rebounds and second-chance opportunities and shoots a solid 37 percent from three-point range. The Cajuns won't mind the fast tempo they'll face against Doug McDermott-led Creighton.
The Case Against:
Outside of a win over Louisiana Tech during the regular season, Louisiana-Lafayette didn't fare well against marquee competition. In games against Baylor, Arkansas and Louisville, the Ragin' Cajuns lost by an average of 20.3 points. There's real concern about whether or not they have the depth or personnel to match up against against the quality teams they'll face from here on out. The answer is likely to be 'no.'
SI prediction: Lose in second round to Creighton View complete bracket predictions from SI.com's panel of experts