Southwestern Athletic Conference (conference rank: 32nd)
March 7, 10-11
First round at higher seed, remaining rounds at Houston.
kPOY: Zach Lofton, Texas Southern.
Regular season champ: Texas Southern (preseason #248 / 1st SWAC, current #202)
Overachiever: Alcorn State (preseason #338, current #287)
Underachiever: Alabama A&M (preseason #347, current #351)
Of all 32 conferences, the SWAC needs a tournament the least. For the 21st consecutive season, the regular-season title was won outright. For the third straight season, the winner was Texas Southern.
The SWAC has changed up its format this season, only inviting the top eight teams and playing the quarterfinals at campus sites before moving to the Toyota Center in Houston. It’s curious then that conference is allowing Alcorn State to play despite being ineligible for the NCAA tournament.
But the wildest part of the SWAC tournament is how ties are broken in the conference standings. The first tiebreaker is head-to-head point differential. Well, technically point differential is the second tiebreaker, but since the first tiebreaker is head-to-head result, effectively the first tiebreaker is head-to-head point differential in a two-way tie.
This came into play in determining the eighth participant where Alabama State outscored Arkansas-Pine Bluff by four to earn entry into the tournament. One wonders if the league’s coaches change their late-game behavior in any way with this tiebreaker in place.
Texas Southern gets half of a home-court advantage for the games played at the Toyota Center.
Semis Final Champ 1 Texas Southern 93.5 75.2 59.2 2 Alcorn St. 86.8 52.0 17.4 4 Prairie View A&M 72.2 17.6 8.9 3 Southern 66.6 30.0 7.9 6 Jackson St. 33.4 14.0 3.5 5 Grambling St. 27.8 5.0 2.1 8 Alabama St. 6.5 2.1 0.6 7 Mississippi Valley St. 13.2 4.0 0.5