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2020 in Review: A year of history for the Cajuns

In the midst of chaos, the Cajuns kept winning
First Responder Bowl Football Cajuns
Posted at 6:08 PM, Dec 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-31 23:33:08-05

My goodness, 2020 was a roller coaster. But for Louisiana Athletics, one has to smile when you look back at everything the school accomplished.

When the 2020 spring schedule was canceled, Louisiana softball (18-6) was one of the best in the nation with five wins over top-10 teams, including a 2-1 victory over LSU at Lamson Park. Cajuns baseball was in the midst of a transformation as the Matt Deggs era began. Louisiana had won six of its last seven games.

On the hardwood, Bob Marlins' men's basketball team won't miss 2020, though the start of the new season is off to smooth start. But his counterpart, Garry Brodhead, will long wonder "what if" after the Cajuns women were scheduled to play a conference semifinal game when the season ended.

After a long summer away from campus the teams returned and winning was the main ingredient. Louisiana volleyball opened its year with 11 straight match wins and were destined to compete for a Sun Belt title when COVID derailed the Cajuns during the SBC tournament. On the pitch, Louisiana soccer won its second SBC tournament match, but no team enjoyed more success than Billy Napier and Louisiana football.

The Cajuns season began with a bang, a 31-14 win over Iowa State, the program's first win over a top-25 team. Louisiana grabbed a firm footing in the AP top 25 while winning nine regular season games, including a 24-21 victory at Appalachian State on a rainy Friday night. It was the team's first win over the Mountaineers in program history. The Cajuns headed to their third-straight Sun Belt Championship game, and were in Conway, SC, getting set to play Coastal Carolina when a positive COVID test on the Chanticleers' team canceled the game. The Cajuns did, however, earn a 10th win, beating UTSA 31-24 in the First Responder Bowl, notching the team's second 10-win season in as many years, the only two in school history.

The end of 2020 marks the end of non-conference play in basketball. The Louisiana men are off to a good start (6-1) with newcomer Theo Akwuba playing a pivotal role next to senior Cedric Russell and sophomore Mylik Wilson. The Cajuns are being considered one of the top mid-major teams this year.

There was a lot of ugly throughout the 2020 calendar, but the level of play from the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns was as high as its ever been. For many teams the bar is now a few inches higher.
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