Mar 19, 2014 7:41 PM by Kari Beal
UL is once again in the national spotlight, thanks to the Ragin' Cajuns basketball team. Sunday's Sun Belt Conference Tournament win earned them a trip to the NCAA tournament. This is the first time since 2005 the team has gotten this far. Now every move the Cajuns make will be watched by millions, and this attention is good business for the university.
"You may not be a sports athlete yourself, but because you hear about the University of Louisiana Lafayette you start looking into what school that is. What kind of program do they have? How can that benefit my higher education?," Eric Maron, Assistant Director for Marketing and Promotions for UL Lafayette intercollegiate sport said.
Butler University demonstrated a boost in admissions after their run in the 2010 NCAA tournament. Admission applications went up 40 percent. Florida Gulf Coast University, who competed in the sweet sixteen NCAA tournament last year saw similar attention. According to ESPN, unique visitors on FGCU's website shot up from over 2,000 to over 42,000 during the tournament.
"I think it is awesome. We found out a stat that us and Michigan State are the only teams to win a conference in football and basketball. So we're really putting ourselves on the map,' Cory Brodie, student intern Defensive Coach for UL Football said.
These wins don't just excite the campus, but the coaches as well. According to the Advertiser, UL Coach Bob Marlin received a $15,000 bonus for winning the Sun Belt Tournament. If the team wins on Friday, Marlin with take home a $5,000 bonus.
"The team has been through a rebuilding stage and I think the public is really excited about that," Maron said.
The Ragin Cajuns will face Creighton University in San Antonio at 2:10 P.M. CT, 3:10 ET, Friday afternoon. Tickets through the school are sold out but they are still available through TicketMaster.