The NCAA season has reached it first round of the postseason. With the regular season now in the books, we are in the heart of the conference tournaments. Come Wednesday, March 8th, a good majority of the conferences will have started their respective tournaments. Several tickets have already have been punched, with more to come each and every day in the coming week.
One of the tournaments that will be tipping off for the first time on Wednesday will be the Southland Conference Tournament. Here at INSC we have you covered, with predictions down below. This tourney will conclude on Saturday, March 11th.
You can check out the seedings and a link to the bracket below.[Kenny]
(1) New Orleans
(2) Texas A&M CC
(3) Stephen F. Austin
(4) Houston Baptist
(5) Sam Houston State
(7) SE Louisianna
(8) Central Arkansas
The Southland Conference is one of the more unique. It is a total of four rounds, but the top two teams only need to play in two games total in order to win the whole thing. The very first round consists of four teams. We will see Sam Houston State take on Central Arkansas for the chance to take on Houston Baptist. Then we will have SE Louisianna taking on Lamar, with a game against SFA on the line. I will go with Sam Houston State 87-73 and Lamar 75-69.
The quarterfinals will start with a game between Houston Baptist against Sam Houston State. This one should be a fairly close one. The numbers are pretty even across the board. No one really has a standout advantage in comparison to the other. My formula is telling me Houston Baptist will come out on top, 74-71 for the chance to play New Orleans.
The next quarterfinals matchup will pit Lamar against Stephen F. Austin. This one is prime for the first real upset of this tournament. Lamar has the edge in the majority of major statistics. They can shoot better, create more possessions and foul less. So I have to go with the underdogs Lamar here, 73-69, moving on to take on TAMCC.
Our first semi will have the number one seed New Orleans going up against Houston Baptist. This is an overall weaker conference. New Orleans is projected to be a 16 seed, meaning even as the top seed they are not necessarily the strongest team. Therefore, an upset here would not be out of the question. And that is exactly what I am calling for. Give me Houston Baptist 72-70.
Semifinal two will then see TAMCC face off with Lamar. This is the perfect conference to go all out on the upset. I simply am not a fan of the higher seeded teams. So I see Lamar’s fun continuing on into the title game. Texas A&M CC is far from elite, and even as a six seed, Lamar is just as qualified. So give me Lamar 73-71.
That would mean the automatic bid would go to either the four or six seed. One way or another, the winner likely finds themselves in one of the 16 seed play-in games during the Big Dance. These two are fairly equal, and this should be a close game. They will go back and forth, fighting for their spot in the NCAA Tourney. My projection has me going with Houston Baptist 74-73.
So what do you think? Who will emerge with a NCAA Tournament bid? Will it be an upset, or will the top seed claim their auto bid? Tell us in the comments!