Appalachian State upsets defending champion Georgia State to win Sun Belt title, returns to NCAA tourney for 1st time since 2000

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Appalachian State men's basketball wins 2021 Sun Belt Conference Championship (Photo: AppStateSports.com)

Appalachian State men’s basketball wins 2021 Sun Belt Conference Championship (Photo: AppStateSports.com)

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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.

Kane Williams had 18 points and eight rebounds for Georgia State.

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