Following last year's 17-1 conference dominance, Stephen F. Austin felt unsatisfied with that lone blemish. The Lumberjacks ran roughshod through their Southland Conference slate to end this season 18-0 in league play. They won the Southland Tournament in 2014 and 2015, and hope to do so again in 2016.
Standing in SFA's path is No. 2 seed Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (24-6, 15-3), which has two wins over NCAA Tournament-bound Austin Peay and two losses to Stephen F. Austin. The Islanders have gone dancing just once before, in 2007, and that trip ended in a first-round loss to Wisconsin. Brad Underwood has taken Stephen F. Austin to the tournament twice before, and his Lumberjacks appear set to make a third run at the field.
No. 3 seed Sam Houston State enters the postseason having not made a Big Dance since 2010, and with a 12-6 conference record, the Bearkats with a K have their work cut out for them. They'll get the winner of No. 6 McNeese State vs. No. 7 Nicholls State on Thursday night.
The top eight of the conference's 11 teams will travel to Katy for a two-pronged, bracket-style tournament. Top-seeded Stephen F. Austin and No. 2 seed A&M-Corpus Christi wait until Thursday's semifinal round to meet the two best of the rest. Abilene Christian and Incarnate Word are ineligible for the conference tournament this year, since they're working through the Division I reclassification process. Central Arkansas is sitting out as punishment for APR insufficiencies, while Northwestern State (8-20, 5-13) and Lamar (11-19, 3-15) failed to make the tournament field.
- Stephen F. Austin
- Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
- Sam Houston State
- Houston Baptist
- Southeastern Louisiana
- McNeese State
- New Orleans
Schedule and Results (all times Eastern)
Wednesday, March 9 (First Round)
Game 1: No. 5 Southeastern Louisiana 84, No. 8 New Orleans 74
Game 2: No. 7 Nicholls 94, No. 6 McNeese State 90
Thursday, March 10 (Quarterfinals)
Game 3: No. 4 Houston Baptist 73, No. 5 Southeastern Louisiana 68
Game 4: No. 3 Sam Houston State 60 vs. No. 7 Nicholls 59
Friday, March 11 (Semifinals)
Game 5: No. 1 Stephen F. Austin 104, No. 4 Houston Baptist 68
Game 6: No. 2 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 79, No. 3 Sam Houston State 76
Saturday, March 12 (Finals)
Game 7: No. 1 Stephen F. Austin 82, No. 2 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 60
* * *
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