Tuesday, March 9, 2010

2010 Men's College Basketball Conference Tournament Probabilities: Southland

Part 25 of a 30 part series. Using Sagarin's Predictor ratings in a prediction formula, I'll weigh the probability of each conference team in each possible tournament matchup and through a Markov chain determine their chances of winning the tournament.

Usually offering a designated whipping boy slash 16-seed of the tournament, the Southland conference could send an honest to goodness underdog competitor to the NCAA's, if regular season champ and top seed Sam Houston State runs the table as expected in the 8 team, three round tourney in suburban Katy, TX to claim the conference's NCAA bid. Sam Houston State (18-7) is rated 105 by the Sagarin ratings, indicating that they could get an honest to goodness seed of substance, something like a 13 or 14 instead of a 16 and the need to pray that they don't have to play-in at Dayton for the right to get owned by Kansas.

SHS is a 6 to 5 favorite (48.5%) to win the tourney, and isn't facing significant resistance from any one foe. Top dark horses to knock them off include #2 Stephen F Austin (13 to 2), the over-named #3 Texas A&M Corpus Christi (7 to 1) and #6 Texas San Antonio (19 to 2). There is a significant chance they get knocked off, but it's more of a general shot. No one team poses a grave threat to their season.

And none of those teams would provide more than the same old same old in the NCAAs, another piece of cannon fodder for the Kansas and Dukes of the world to run over en route to the 2nd round. Sam Houston State is not just the favorite to advance, but the fledgling Southland Conference's best chance to make a good impression in the NCAA's with a respectable showing or, better yet, a Cinderella upset... easily one of the conference's better impressions in the past few years.

Here are the Southland Conference odds for every team involved.

1. Sam Houston State: 6 to 5 (48.5%)
2. Stephen F Austin: 6.4 to 1
3. Texas A&M Corpus Christi: 6.9 to 1
4. SE Louisiana: 10 to 1
5. Texas State: 30.9 to 1
6. Texas San Antonio: 9.4 to 1
7. Texas Arlington: 34.9 to 1
8. Nicholls State: 120 to 1

Next: The SWAC, aka Southwestern Athletic Conference, aka the official conference of one half of the Play-In Game

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