The Southland Tournament is what all these teams have been building for these last 5 months. There’s no chance at an at-large bid for the Southland, so every team has prepared for this week.
The best part is: Quite a few of teams can win. With an impressive non-conference win at LSU, Stephen F. Austin looked to be a lock for the regular season title. But in their first conference game, they lost to Southeastern Louisiana, who wasn’t projected to have a good season. Southeastern Louisiana, meanwhile, built on that win and contended for the pole position in the conference.
Yet the top spot was usually jostling between Nicholls and Sam Houston until the final week, in which Southeastern Louisiana beat New Orleans and Nicholls to take the top seed.
All games are on ESPN3, and the championship game air on ESPN2.
Central Arkansas vs Lamar should be a really fun game to watch, and both of those teams are able to beat Stephen F Austin in the next round, Lamar especially considering that Lamar swept SFA in the season series. Central Arkansas split the series between SFA and rely heavily on if Jordan Howard and Mathieu Kamba play well. Southeastern Louisiana has depth problems, but only have to win two games to win the tournament thanks to their first-round bye. The biggest problems is the status of their leading scorer and rebounder Jordan Capps is unclear. If he is then Southeastern Louisiana is my pick to win.
If he isn’t available, then Lamar is a trendy dark-horse pick to win. They have the experience, hand were playing their best basketball until a loss to McNeese in their last game of the season. Their path to the championship is also favorable: They will face Stephen F Austin (who they swept in regular season series), and then Nicholls (who they lost to by 5 in January).
Along with the bracket, the Southland Conference also released their award winners and All-Conference selections:
Southland Player of the Year:
Jordan Howard (Central Arkansas)
Southland Newcomer of the Year:
Roddy Peters (Nicholls)
Southland Defensive Player of the Year:
Marlain Veal (Southeastern Louisiana)
Southland Freshman of the Year:
David Caraher (Houston Baptist)
Southland Coach of the Year:
Richie Riley (Nicholls)
Southland All-Conference First Team
|Jordan Howard||Central Arkansas||G||Sr.||25.8||3.7||2.7|
|Marlain Veal||Southeastern Louisiana||G||Jr.||12.6||5.3||6.1|
|Chris Galbreath, Jr.||Sam Houston State||F||Sr.||15.2||7.9||1.3|
Southland All-Conference Second Team
|Shannon Bogues||Stephen F. Austin||G||Jr.||15.5||2.5||1.5|
|Joseph Kilgore||A&M-Corpus Christi||G||Sr.||18.3||5.7||3.3|
|Jordan Capps||Southeastern La.||F||Sr.||13.7||4.3||0.5|
|Kevon Harris||Stephen F. Austin||G/F||So.||15.1||5.1||1.1|
Southland All-Conference Third Team
|David Caraher||Houston Baptist||F||Fr.||16.2||7.2||1.9|
|TJ Holyfield||Stephen F. Austin||F||Jr.||12.9||6.2||0.9|
|Ishmael Lane||Northwestern State||F/C||Jr.||13.7||7.2||0.8|