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MBB: Southland Conference Power Rankings - Week 3

January 9, 2018
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Another week of Southland Conference play has come and gone, and another good week it was. Some close ones, and a few late game comebacks - which means a few more shake ups in Week 3:

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1. Southeastern Louisiana

2017-18 record: 9-7 (3-0) | Last week: 2 

Still the surprise of the league to most, the Lions only had one game last week but it was a solid one, surviving a late charge from ACU in Abilene. SLU has won their first three games against three of the top four in the initial Power Rankings, including two on the road. They’ll need to do it again when they travel to Lamar this week. 

2. New Orleans

2017-18 record: 7-8 (4-0) | Last week:

The Privateers needed a second-half comeback, and then held on in OT against McNeese, but they may be playing the best basketball in the league. Their biggest test of the season comes this week in Nacogdoches.

3. Stephen F. Austin

2017-18 record: 13-3 (2-1) | Last week: 3 -

It wasn’t pretty, not even close, but the Lumberjacks got a gritty rivalry win on the road while going 0-16 from long distance (and missing 12 FT’s). You know they’re ready to get back home and the huge matchup with UNO can give the ‘Jacks some momentum.

4. Nicholls

2017-18 record: 9-8 (3-1) | Last week: 4 -

Roddy Peters lost it, and then won it. A late technical gave HBU a lead with: 59 seconds, but Peters knocked 2 FTs down seconds later to help the Colonels escape with a 72-71 win to keep pace at the top of the league. They get the next three games at home.

5. Lamar

2017-18 record: 10-7 (2-2) | Last week:

It was a rough week for the Cardinals, dropping both games against UNO and UCA (while giving up 100 to the Bears in 2OT). They’ll need to get in gear quick with SLU in town.

6. Sam Houston State

2017-18 record: 8-8 (2-1) | Last week: 9 

The Bearkats are quietly climbing up the rankings. While they aren’t the most impressive wins, they are wins that they needed after a sluggish start to the season. They could easily keep ascending with matchups vs Corpus, HBU and Northwestern State next.

7. Central Arkansas

2017-18 record: 8-9 (2-2) | Last week: 7 -

With an up and down start to conference play for the Bears, UCA finds themselves a bit further down in these rankings than where they started. A good win over Lamar kept them from falling more this week. Oh, and Jordan Howard is now the best 3-point shooter in Southland History.

8. Abilene Christian

2017-18 record: 10-7 (2-2) | Last week: 5 

You could flip UCA and ACU, but I didn’t expect to have both of them at #7 and #8 at this point. Plenty of time to get it together, but the Wildcats have some work to do. They can start with a road trip to HBU and NWST.

9. McNeese

2017-18 record: 5-9 (2-2) | Last week: 8 

You could argue that the Cowboys have played better than both UCA and ACU. I did that myself, but their two wins are against combined winless teams (UIW, NWST). They have a ridiculous four-game stretch coming up that won’t do them any favors (@Nicholls, @SLU, @HBU, @Lamar).

10. Texas A&M-CC

2017-18 record: 4-9 (1-2) | Last week: 10 -

The Islanders won their only game of the week. Against Nortwestern State. A home game vs Sam Houston would give them hope to get out the basement.

11. Houston Baptist

2017-18 record: 4-12 (0-3) | Last week: 11 -

The Huskies really needed the win at home vs Nicholls. Instead, they’ve lost seven of the last eight with no signs of leaving the bottom of the league.

12. Incarnate Word

2017-18 record: 5-8 (0-3) | Last week: 12 -

The Cardinals have lost each of their first three conference games by double digits. Unfortunately, that streak may continue as they travel to Conway AND Nacogdoches this week.

13. Northwestern State

2017-18 record: 3-12 (0-4) | Last week: 13 -

The Demons had an upset in mind with SFA in town, but couldn’t pull it off despite the worst shooting game of the season for SFA. Jalan West and a few others haven’t been playing and it doesn’t seem to be going well behind the scenes in Natchitoches.

MBB: Southland Conference Power Rankings - Week 3

edstile
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There's parity in the conference this year. Everyone's bad. Ashamed to say that the SLC is on par with the SWAC. Hope the Jacks can shake out of their funk and leave these other stragglers behind. Jeez Louise......
No-look
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I think I read a post in the summer or fall that Keller had said that SLU was the team to beat?
RedRiverLa
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I fully expect SFA to use this homestand to start their move to pull away from the pack.
nacluth
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I don't know Ed. It looks like there's already separation occurring by the top teams. If you want to see parity, look at the "good" A 10 league. 2 unbeatens, 3 one-loss teams, and 9 two-loss teams. Everyone has beaten someone.

Unfortunately the way ranking bias works is that for our conference to look better, only the teams that had some non-con success would have to run the tables. That means us and Lamar. Because SLU and UNO overscheduled their first half, their current success hurts the league's ranking. It doesn't mean they're not good. I'll put us up against the SWAC any day. Well, against 80% of the SWAC.
Ryan
Kinnaird Guitars
PurpleOut
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Staff
RPI wise, the Southland is ranked 30th (out of 32).
nacluth
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Yep, RPI rankings are always going to be terrible because perception says we're terrible to start the season. The analysis always starts with a beginning value. The SLC was ranked 30th last year, so we start there this year as well. That beginning value biases are conference play. Our conference play (no matter the results) sinks every team in the SLC's RPI. The only way for a team to raise its own RPI is at the others expense. We may finish with a top 100 but crushing the league, but next year, half the teams start with a bias of being sub-300.
Ryan
Kinnaird Guitars
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