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The case for Stephen F Austin

Posted: Sat Mar 1, 2008 10:40 pm
by jman3134
Now, don't get me wrong here. This team plays in a bad conference that probably does not deserve an at large bid. With that said, so many bubble teams are losing lately and really not deserving of a bid to the tournament. Look no further than Lunardi's bracket, where two at large teams were given 13 seeds. That is simply unreal.

Now, let's examine Stephen F Austin's chance if they do not win out. The major problem that ESPN and other media outlets have wtih this team is that they played four DII schools. Yet, this is absolutely an absurd criticism. What do the big conference schools do? Well, they schedule underbudgeted midmajors preferrably at the bottom of the MEAC and SWAC and win against them. After watching DII basketball fairly close over the past two years, I am certain that many of these schools are very much on par with these lower DI schools in terms of ability. Look no further than the Grand Valley St upset or even Findlay. I'm not saying that Stephen F Austin played squads of a similar caliber to those two teams, but it just re emphasizes the point that Division 2 basketball is no laughing matter. I would honestly count those four DII wins as legitamite. They take enough of an RPI hit considering that doesn't include them into the schedule. It just shows the hypocritical nature of major news media outlets when analyzing some of the lesser conference teams.

Now, let's look at their conference record: 11-2 so far. That is extremely impressive by any standard. Their two losses both came on the road. One was inexcusable against a bad Nicholls St team. Still, it was a one point loss and should certainly not be a deal breaker considering how many terrible losses some of these at large hopefuls have. Then, they lost on the road by 2 points against Sam Houston St. Sam Houston St. upset Texas Tech earlier in the year and is a legitamite squad. They also have a win against UCF, a road win against St. Louis and a general 12-1 nonconference record. So, with this, it is easy to see that Stephen F Austin has lost against a legitamite conference threat who is capable of winning on a large scale, and also has one bad loss. Still, these are both by 2 and 1 points respectively. This must be taken into account. And, they were both on the road. They haven't lost a home game all year!

As of late, their margin of victory makes them one of the most dominant forces in their conference. They won by 22 against Sam Houston St. at home and have won by an average margin of victory of 14.5 points per game during their current 8 game win streak. If that is not domination, I don't know what else it could be considered.

Also, they did their job in the nonconference schedule. They won at Oklahoma by 4 points and at San Diego by 6. Oklahoma is a definite tournament team which may achieve an 8 seed or even lower. This is definitely a signature victory. Take into account San Diego's proficiency at home, which many do not realize, and you have a nice nonconference slate in terms of wins. San Diego is 9-3 in the West Coast conference and defeated St. Mary's earlier in the year in a home game. This team is no joke in terms of signature wins.

Then take into account their sole conference loss. It was on the road against a Texas Tech team that was certainly dangerous, particularly at the time. At that juncture in the season, they were playing extremely well with a win against Gonzaga at home.

And, finally, realize that their RPI is in the 40's without even counting four of their wins. This is reason enough for me to include them in the field. Sure, they probably should not have scheduled those D2 games. But, you cannot penalize a team who was seconds away from having a one or potentially two loss season. This team should be included in the field if they win out in their conference and are upset in the championship game. They would have 4 losses on the season and certainly would be deserving of a bid in light of the losses bubble teams are suffering in the major conferences.

Posted: Sun Mar 2, 2008 2:02 am
by jman3134
:nonono: Totally irrelevant now that they just lost at home.

Re: The case for Stephen F Austin

Posted: Sun Mar 2, 2008 6:20 pm
by JN
jman3134 wrote:
Now, let's examine Stephen F Austin's chance if they do not win out. The major problem that ESPN and other media outlets have wtih this team is that they played four DII schools. Yet, this is absolutely an absurd criticism. What do the big conference schools do? Well, they schedule underbudgeted midmajors preferrably at the bottom of the MEAC and SWAC


The RPI game... its better to beat a Divsion II team then a sub 270 Team which will brutalize your RPI. If SFA had played 4 bad creampuffs instead, there RPI would fall alot.

Its not like SFA had a case like Appalachian St last year who actually beat three good teams.

But as you said, the loss last night did them no good.

Posted: Mon Mar 3, 2008 8:47 am
by Skai
While the Oklahoma win was impressive, I wouldn't call OU a definite tourney team. They've been pretty sub-par during their conference stretch.

Good arguments -- it's really too bad they lost the other night.

Posted: Tue Mar 4, 2008 4:21 pm
by JN
Skai wrote:While the Oklahoma win was impressive, I wouldn't call OU a definite tourney team. They've been pretty sub-par during their conference stretch.

Good arguments -- it's really too bad they lost the other night.


There a lock. They can lose all there games from here on out (be 7-9 in conference), but at the end of the day they have eight top 50 wins right now, which is only surpassed by two teams.

Given the crap that is on the bubble, that factor alone will get them in. And I assume they end up either 8-8 or 9-7 in conference.

Posted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 4:03 am
by studcrackers
i went to sfa last year, they never realized there potential last year and choked as conference play ended. i didnt go there this year but id still love for them to make it at large though it'd be one of the most debated picks if they did. going to there games last year was one of the few things i enjoyed there.

it sucks that they choked once again this year, next year there 2 best player will be seniors so hopefully they'll actually win the damn thing