The Lamar Cardinals basketball team represents Lamar University in NCAA Division I men's basketball competition. The Cardinals compete in the Southland Conference and have played home games in the Montagne Center since 1984. The Lamar University basketball team is one of the school's most storied athletic programs. The Cardinals have competed in NCAA Tournament play eleven times (five at the NCAA College Division (Division II) level and six times at the NCAA Division I level with the most recent appearance in the 2012 tournament. The 1979–80 team was one of the 1980 tournament's Sweet Sixteen teams. The Cardinals have also competed in four NIT tournaments. Heading into the 2014–2015 season Lamar had a 284–143 record in the Montagne Center. The Cardinals overall record going into the 2014–2015 season was 922–818.
The Montagne Center, built in 1984, is a mixed-use Auxiliary/E&G event center that houses a 10,746-seat a multi-purpose arena and a variety of event spaces in Beaumont, Texas. The Montagne Center was designed especially for the basketball program with a wing designated for instructional purposes. The Montagne Center is currently home to the Lamar University Cardinals, the Lady Cardinals basketball teams, and the Lamar University Pathway Program, Lamar University's language program. The arena was previously the home of the Lady Cardinals volleyball team until renovations to McDonald Gym were completed in 2006-07. The Montagne's instructional area has been home to Lamar's language program since 2010 when the Lamar Language Institute (LLI) first move there, then transitioned to TIEP at Lamar in 2011, and became the Lamar University Language Program (LUPP) in 2017.