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March 8, 2011, 01:57 AM ET
Log5: C-USA, Southland, SWAC, and WAC

by Ken Pomeroy

Saint Peter’s became the new masters of improbability last night with their 62-57 win over Iona in the MAAC title game. The Peacocks’ title was given a 5.4 percent chance of happening. It’s true that Belmont has been the only one-seed to win a conference tourney so far, but both Morehead State and Gonzaga were pre-tourney favorites despite not being the top-seeded team in their respective events.

The numbers in each table represent the chance in percent of a team advancing to the round in question.

Conference USA
March 9-12. All games at UTEP.

UTEP hosts this event and that means a lot when there’s not much to distinguish the teams at the top. Southern Miss should be the trendy darkhorse pick here.

                      Qtrs   Semis   Final   Champ
 3 UTEP                100    74.3    57.9    37.9
 1 UAB                 100    72.4    48.4    25.9
 5 Southern Miss      79.4    51.1    23.8    10.6
 2 Tulsa               100    66.3    20.7     8.4
 6 Marshall           82.5    24.3    14.5     6.5
 4 Memphis             100    42.4    14.1     4.5
 9 Central Florida    65.1    20.6    10.1     3.7
 7 SMU                50.8    17.3     3.4     0.9
10 Rice               49.2    16.4     3.1     0.8
 8 East Carolina      34.9     7.0     2.4     0.6
12 Tulane             20.6     6.5     1.3     0.2
11 Houston            17.5     1.4     0.4     0.05

Southland
March 9, 10, 12. All games at Katy, Texas.

You could flip coins and simulate the Southland tourney well. I didn’t follow the league, but I can only assume there was a whole lot of random nonsense deciding games. The top eight qualifiers all won between eight and 11 conference games. Yes, the two-seed is the least likely to win.

                      Semis   Final   Champ
3 Sam Houston St.      52.2    35.1    22.0
6 Stephen F. Austin    47.8    31.3    19.0
1 McNeese St.          55.8    34.5    17.1
8 Nicholls St.         44.2    24.8    10.9
7 UT San Antonio       58.2    21.4    10.4
4 Texas St.            54.6    23.3     9.4
5 SE Louisiana         45.4    17.4     6.2
2 Northwestern St.     41.8    12.2     5.0

SWAC
March 9-12. All games at Garland, Texas.

Texas Southern and Jackson State have nearly equal chances of taking the SWAC crown, in a league where chances of winning it all rank nearly according to seed. Given what we’ve seen over the past week, that’s a refreshing change of pace.

                      Semis   Final   Champ
2 Jackson St.          79.7    53.6    30.9
1 Texas Southern       82.0    52.4    30.5
3 Miss. Valley St.     65.1    28.6    13.0
4 Alabama St.          51.7    22.4    10.2
5 Alabama A&M          48.3    20.2     8.9
6 Grambling            34.9    10.7     3.3
7 Prairie View A&M     20.3     7.1     1.9
8 Ark. Pine Bluff      18.0     5.0     1.3

WAC
March 9-12. All games at Las Vegas, Nevada.

The WAC debuts its neutral-site event which also copies the WCC in going to a stepladder bracket where the top two seeds get a free pass to the semifinals. This helps boost Utah State’s chances, and they’re the second-biggest favorite in any tourney this season, having narrowly been beaten by Belmont in the Atlantic Sun for that honor.

                      Qtrs   Semis   Final   Champ
1 Utah St.             100     100    90.8    77.5
2 Boise St.            100     100    66.3    14.3
3 New Mexico St.       100    58.4    21.5     3.1
4 Idaho                100    61.3     6.5     2.7
7 Fresno St.          50.3    21.0     6.2     0.7
6 Nevada              49.7    20.6     6.0     0.7
5 Hawai'i             59.6    25.3     2.0     0.7
8 San Jose St.        40.4    13.5     0.7     0.2

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