Southland Conference Tournament 2013 Championship: Lumberjacks and Demons face off for title

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Lumberjacks are one of the highest-rated and least-talked-about mid-major teams in the country.

The top-seeded Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks and No. 2 Northwestern State Demons face off Saturday in the Southland Conference final for the right to represent the conference in the NCAA tournament.

NCAA tournament appearances have not been frequent in either school's history. The Lumberjacks won the Southland Conference tournament in 2009 to go to its first-ever NCAA tournament. They earned a No. 14 seed and lost in the first round to the No. 3 Syracuse Orange, 59-44.

The Demons have qualified for two NCAA tournaments, and their record is 2-2 in tournament play. They won the play-in game in their first tournament appearance in 2001 (this was the first year a play-in game was included in the tournament bracket). As a No. 14 seed in 2006, Northwestern State earned a 64-63 upset over No. 3 Iowa on a three-pointer with 0.5 seconds to go.

The log5 predictions at KenPom.com favor Stephen F. Austin in Saturday's final, and his overall team rankings have the Lumberjacks at No. 73 and Northwestern State at No. 141.

The Southland championship game tips off at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

More in College Basketball:

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Full coverage of the Big Ten tournament

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