Brad Keith makes his predictions before selection show
(March 6, 2016) — In 14 years of covering the Lone Star Conference and South Central Region, I believe this may be the most cut and dry I’ve seen the regional field going into the NCAA Division II Basketball Championship Selection Show.
I’m pretty sure we know the eight teams that will be participating, and I’m almost certain where the games will be played. I’m even pretty sure what time Tarleton will play on Saturday, who the opponent will be and who the Texans would face with a win.
Let’s get right down to it. Selection Show is 9:30 p.m. CST for men. You can watch on NCAA.com or stop by the watch party at Wisdom Gym. It’s free and doors open at 8:45 p.m.
Below are my predictions for the regional tournament seeds. I’m sure they are wrong and will prove not a bit useful or informative, so feel free to stop now and just wait for the NCAA to tell us all what’s up in just bit.
Kidding, here you go:
1. Midwestern State – I can’t recall one time in my years covering this region when the No. 1 team won its conference tournament and fell from the top spot. I understand Fort Lewis has the best record in the region, but if strength of schedule had MSU ahead of FLC last week, I can’t see that changing after the Mustangs beat Angelo State in the final of the Lone Star Conference Tournament. I’m so set on MSU at the top that I reserved my hotel and sent by text my request for credentials with two minutes and change remaining the LSC final.
2. Fort Lewis College – Yes, I believe this should go to Angelo State. But I remember last year when Texas A&M-Commerce won a conference tournament and jumped all the way to No. 3 – rightfully so with back-to-back wins over TSU and ASU – and believe we will see another favorable leap for a tournament winner here. The RMAC was not kind in terms of schedule strength for FLC, but beating Colorado School of Mines in the final is a quality win, even with home court advantage. I just think the NCAA will put the three-loss Skyhawks ahead of the Rams.
3. Angelo State – Um, see above. And remember that before losing to Midwestern in the LSC final, the Rams defeated Tarleton, so they are still in good shape. What I also believe is that the difference in the 2-3 spots is not much in this field. It very likely only determines which team wears white (higher seed) in the regional semifinals on Sunday.
4. Tarleton State – It doesn’t really matter if the Texans are fourth and fifth. All it affects is playing in black or white on Saturday. I think the Texans will stay here because they have the No. 2 strength of schedule in the region and a loss to ASU in the LSC semis doesn’t really hurt the season-long body of work. Tarleton won’t be higher than this, and won’t be lower than the 6.
5. Colorado School of Mines – This is an interesting spot to predict. Does Dallas Baptist get the nod after winning its conference tournament – with a quality win over Arkansas-Fort Smith in the final – or does Mines stay ahead? I can’t see a loss to Fort Lewis hurting the body of work Mines has to present, and my gut feeling since last night has been that the teams comprising the top five won’t change, so I’ll stick with it. I wouldn’t be shocked, though, if Dallas Baptist lands here.
6. Dallas Baptist – In these last three spots, the seedings are up in the air, but I don’t believe the teams are. DBU won the Heartland Tournament so I’m giving them the edge here with an outside shot to land at five – even four? – but remember that UAFS, despite losing in the Heartland final, holds a 2-1 season edge over its conference rival. It is supposed to be about whole body of work, after all. But DBU was at No. 2 in the first regional rankings of the season, so it’s RPI and SOS can’t be in bad shape. Those, and the conference tournament title, are what I believe keeps them ahead of UAFS and Lubbock Christian.
7. Arkansas-Fort Smith – Could UAFS go to No. 6 with its 2-1 head-to-head advantage over DBU? Sure, why not? I don’t think so, though. I think the tourney champ will be ahead. But I do have UAFS over LCU, which was upset in the opening round of the Heartland tourney.
8. Lubbock Christian – If West Texas A&M would have won a game last week I might believe the LSC could get four teams in. LCU did it’s part, getting upset in the first round of the Heartland tourney, but WTAMU couldn’t get past Cameron in the LSC. WTAMU has the strongest SOS in the region, but head-to-head usually – and should – rules in these situations, and that goes to LCU.