Appalachian State

Appalachian State, Georgia Southern reportedly to join Sun Belt

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As the landscape of college sports continues to change because of conference realignment, we have news of more movement Tuesday.

According to the Associated Press, Appalachian State and Georgia Southern will leave the Southern Conference and join the Sun Belt in every sport except for football  beginning at the start of the 2014 season. The football program of each respective school will begin the transition from FCS to FBS and join the Sun Belt in 2015.

The two additions means 12 basketball schools will compete in the 2014-15 Sun Belt season, with Appalachian State and Georgia Southern joining Arkansas State, Georgia State, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, South Alabama, Texas State, Troy, Western Kentucky, Arkansas-Little Rock and Texas-Arlington.

The move, as much of conference realignment has been, is motivated by the desire of both schools to become FBS football programs. The teams have won a combined nine FCS championships.

As for the basketball implications, Appalachian State finished last season with an overall record of 15-16, including 10-8 in the SoCon. The Mountaineeers lost to eventual champion Davidson in the semifinals of the conference tournament.

Georgia Southern finished 14-19 this season and 7-11 in the SoCon. It, too, lost to Davidson in the conference tournament, falling to coach Bob McKillop’s team in the quarterfinal round.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

POSTERIZED: Texas A&M-CC with an off-the-backboard dunk

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This is pretty nice from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, who has made a habit out of getting themselves on the highlight reel.

Here’s another angle of the dunk:

UNLV’s Stephen Zimmerman out with a knee injury

UNLV forward Stephen Zimmerman Jr. shoots against San Diego State during an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016, in Las Vegas. (L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Sun via AP)
(L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Sun via AP)
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The injury Stephen Zimmerman suffered on Saturday will keep the star UNLV freshman out for at least a week, a source told NBC Sports.

The injury is not thought to be serious, however. Zimmerman may be kept out for longer as a precaution, but that’s a result of the Runnin’ Rebels being in a situation where the rest of their regular season is relatively meaningless.

They’re not getting an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament regardless of how they finish out league play. With back-up center Ben Carter out with a torn ACL, it’s more important to make sure that Zimmerman, who is averaging 10.6 points and 9.1 boards this season, is totally healthy for the Mountain West tournament.

That tournament, mind you, will be played at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center.

So the Runnin’ Rebels, regardless of how poor they’ve played this season, will always have a chance to land an automatic bid.

Anyway, the more interesting aspect of this story is how Zimmerman injured the knee. It was a completely avoidable play that came after the whistle, but I’m not sure it was what you would call a “dirty play”. You tell me: