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Southland Tournament Bracket: No clear favorite emerges from conference play

There isn’t a clear favorite, but keep an eye on Stephen F. Austin and Southeastern Louisiana

NCAA Basketball: Nicholls State at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Bracket

All games are on ESPN3, and the championship game air on ESPN2.

Predictions

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

Player Team Position Year PPG RPG APG
Player Team Position Year PPG RPG APG
Jordan Howard Central Arkansas G Sr. 25.8 3.7 2.7
Roddy Peters Nicholls G Sr. 19.5 5.7 4.3
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
Colton Weisbrod Lamar F Sr. 15 8.1 1.9

Southland All-Conference Second Team

Player Team Position Year PPG RPG APG
Player Team Position Year PPG RPG APG
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
Tevon Saddler Nicholls G Sr. 15.8 6.6 2.8
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

Player Team Position Year PPG RPG APG
Player Team Position Year PPG RPG APG
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
Quatarrius Wilson McNeese F Jr. 10.9 10.2 1.4
Ishmael Lane Northwestern State F/C Jr. 13.7 7.2 0.8
Kalob Ledoux McNeese G So. 15 4.3 1