PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) Michael Almonacy scored a career-high 32 points with six 3-pointers and Appalachian State upset two-time defending champion Georgia State 80-73 on Monday night to win the Sun Belt Conference championship and return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2000.
It was an improbable run for fourth-seeded Appalachian State (17-11), which lost six of its final seven regular-season games before winning four games in four nights - including two in overtime. The Mountaineers didn't win four straight during the regular season and last won four-straight league games in 2015.
Appalachian State was just 7-8 in conference play this season with two wins in three attempts against league championship Georgia State. And Almonacy was in his first year with the program after playing for Division II-member Southern New Hampshire last season.