Jul 24, 2014 5:43 PM by Travis Webb
For a second consecutive season, Louisiana Basketball will get an early dose of tournament play with a November road trip. Bob Marlin and his Ragin' Cajuns are officially announced as paritcipants in this year's MGM Grand Main Event to be held in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The MGM Grand Main Event features two four-team brackets with each team playing two games November 24 and November 26. The Heavyweight bracket includes Auburn, Oklahoma State, Oregon State and Tulsa while the Middleweight bracket will feature Louisiana, Milwaukee, Oral Roberts and a final team to be announced. The pairings for both brackets will be announced on ESPN.com Tuesday, Aug. 5. An additional eight games will be played at home sites preceding the games in Las Vegas.
The Cajuns opening games are slated for November 17 at Tulsa and November 21 at Auburn. Louisiana will then play the four-team bracket on November 24- November 26 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. UL is joined by UW-Milwaukee, Oral Roberts and a team later to be named.
The Main Event's Middleweight bracket features a competitive field of teams that each could be competing for conference titles next season. Despite the loss of NBA Draft lottery selection Elfrid Payton, Louisiana appears primed to make a run at a return trip to the NCAA Tournament. Last season's Sun Belt Conference champions return second-leading scorer Shawn Long (18.6 points and 10.4 rebounds). Milwaukee returns three starters from last season's 21-win team led by juniors Matt Tiby (12.0 points) and Austin Arians (11.1 points). Coach Scott Sutton has built Oral Roberts into one of the nation's top mid-major programs averaging more than 20 wins per season over the past decade. The Golden Eagles lose only one starter from last season and will be led by Obi Emegano (19.0 points) and Korey Billbury (15.3 points).
The last tournament the Ragin' Cajuns competed in, UL ended up winning the event. Last year the Cajuns won the "Maui On The Mainland" Tournament held at Coastal Carolina in conjunction with the EA Sports Maui Invitational.