The Southland Conference led the country in pace this season, leading the second-fastest conference by a comfy 1.6 possessions per 40 minutes. Nine of the 13 teams in the league finished in the top 100 of adjusted tempo.

Furthermore, defense was poor for quite a few teams. That combination created a bunch of high-scoring games. There were 18 occasions where a team scored at least 90 points in conference play, including eight times a team went over 100 (and only one of those was in overtime). While the regular season produced a number of up-and-down games, the conference tournament may not be all that interesting. Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston State rank 43rd and 76th, respectively in my ratings, while no other conference member cracked the top 200.

Furthermore, the Southland employs the double stepladder bracket, so the top two seeds get byes to the semifinals. If the Lumberjacks or Bearkats don’t win the title, it might be the most unlikely thing to happen during championship fortnight. That said, the presumed championship game between the top two seeds would be one of the best you’ll ever see from a conference ranked 28th overall. At, SFA is forecast to be a 12-seed right now, and it appears that like last season, the Jacks are good enough to handle themselves if that’s how things play out.

Southland Conference Thomas Walkup, Stephen F. Austin (kPOY); Denzel Livingston, Incarnate Word; Jacob Parker, Stephen F. Austin; DeMarcus Gatlin, Sam Houston State; Michael Holyfield, Sam Houston State.

March 11-14 at Katy, Texas.

                  Qtrs Semis Final Champ
1 S.F. Austin      100   100  88.6  58.5
2 Sam Houston St.  100   100  83.4  36.1
3 TAMU CC          100  74.0  14.5   2.6
4 Northwestern St. 100  67.8   9.1   2.3
5 McNeese St.     58.1  20.5   1.6   0.3
7 New Orleans     57.8  16.5   1.5   0.1
8 SE Louisiana    41.9  11.8   0.7   0.09
6 Nicholls St.    42.2   9.5   0.6   0.04