March 13-16 at Katy, Texas.

All-kenpom: Taylor Smith, Stephen F. Austin (kPOY); Damen Bell-Holter, Oral Roberts; DeQuan Hicks, Northwestern State; Hal Bateman, Stephen F. Austin; Warren Niles, Oral Roberts.

Stephen F. Austin is the favorite here behind the incredible work of 6-7 center Taylor Smith and statistical splits that Kevin O’Neill would be proud of. The Jacks have the nation’s sixth-rated defense to go with the 238th-best offense. In the Southland, that’s good enough to win the regular season, although it nearly wasn’t to be. SFA needed a game-winning basket by Desmond Haymond with 11 seconds left to beat Northwestern State on March 2nd to win the conference’s top seed. Danny Kaspar deserves a lot of credit for doing good work at SFA but one has to wonder why Taylor Smith was sitting on the bench for half of every game last season. His rate stats were similarly outstanding.

Numbers listed are the probabilities of a team advancing to each round. Unfamiliar with log5? Here’s more than you want to know.

                  Qtrs Semis Final Champ
1 Stephen F Austin 100   100  93.3  69.2
2 Northwestern St. 100   100  62.6  20.4
3 Oral Roberts     100  72.1  30.7   8.3
6 Sam Houston St. 68.2  22.1   5.8   0.9
4 SE Louisiana     100  49.6   3.3   0.6
5 Nicholls St.    52.6  27.2   1.9   0.4
8 McNeese St.     47.4  23.3   1.5   0.3
7 C. Arkansas     31.8   5.8   0.8   0.07