Arkansas State Athletics

March Madness has begun. Freddy Hicks, a junior guard from Searcy, hit a game-winning jump shot at the buzzer to lift No. 4 seed Arkansas State over top-seeded Appalachian State 67-65 in the Sun Belt Conference tournament semifinal in Pensacola, Florida, Sunday night.

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Thanks to Hicks’ heroics, Arkansas State (18-15, 11-7 SBC) will play in its first conference title game since 2007 versus No. 2 seed James Madison (30-3, 15-3 SBC) tonight at the Pensacola Bay Center. A win would secure the Red Wolves a spot in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1999.

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Arkansas State was led by senior guard Caleb Fields, who scored a game-high 23 points with six assists. Hicks shot 8-for-9 from the floor, tallying 18 points and seven rebounds.

This is Arkansas State head coach Bryan Hodgson’s first year with the program. He spent the past four seasons as an assistant and recruiter with the University of Alabama. Hodgson talked about Hicks’ game-winning buzzer beater in the postgame press conference, which you can watch below:

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The Sun Belt Conference championship will be broadcast nationally by ESPN tonight at 6 p.m. Hopefully we’ll see more of this:

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