Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Southland conference tournament preview

This is part 27 of a 32-part series that will take a look at every conference and conference tournament in the country.  We'll recap who's playing and what the stakes are for each team in the conference.

The standings:
Stephen F Austin 18-0 (25-5)
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 15-3 (24-6)
Sam Houston St 12-6 (17-14)
Incarnate Word 12-6 (17-12)
Houston Baptist 10-8 (16-15)
SE Louisiana 9-9 (11-20)
Abilene Christian 8-10 (13-18)
McNeese St 7-11 (9-19)
Nicholls St 6-12 (10-22)
New Orleans 6-12 (10-19)
Central Arkansas 6-12 (7-21)
Northwestern St 5-13 (8-20)
Lamar 3-15 (11-19)

Tournament format:
Ok, lots of info here.  Katy, Texas hosts.  Only the top 8 teams go.  Abilene Christian and Incarnate Word are ineligible (still transitioning to D1).  Central Arkansas is APR'd.

The bracket is double bye'd.  The top 2 seeds have byes to the semis and the 3/4 seeds have a single bye.  Wednesday March 9 to Saturday March 12.

The matchups:
1) Stephen F Austin vs. 4/5/8) Houston Baptist/SE Louisiana/New Orleans
2) Texas A&M-Corpus Christia vs. 3/6/7) Sam Houston St/McNeese St/Nicholls St

The stakes:
This conference was not good, skating down to 29th in the conference RPI.  It's going to kill the seed of any conference champ, although both TAMU-CC and SFA did enough individually to avoid Dayton, and the 16 line for that matter.  SFA does not have the type of resume it's had in previous years, so they'll be trapped pretty far back in the S-Curve.  You can safely pencil them and TAMU-CC for the 15 line, and anyone else for Dayton.

There's a staggering 8 teams that are sub-300 RPI.  How is that even possible.  Sam Houston St and Incarnate Word are in the mid 100s in RPI, which is a downright miracle, and might get both into the postseason, at least.  But man, it's a wasteland behind the top 4.  Another reason why SFA's seed will get killed.

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