Checking in on the… SWAC

Posted by rtmsf on February 13th, 2009

JC of HBCUSportsBlog is the RTC correspondent for the SWAC and MEAC Conferences.

Just when you were starting to get those early brackets together and were set to peg the SWAC as the 65th seed, the top two teams in the conference may have you thinking otherwise.

Alabama State and Jackson State are coming down the stretch for the top seed in the conference and the inglorious mockery of the college hoops nation heading into March Madness. But there’s a lot more to the Hornets and Jaguars than being a play-in place holder.

Here’s the scoop on the this week in the SWAC.

THIS WEEK - Alabama State was this close to being undefeated in the SWAC conference. A hiccup against Alcorn State is the Hornets’ lone defeat of 2009, and one of two in the last 14 games. Jackson State has traveled a similar road, with two winning streaks of four games or better in 2009, and only two conference losses to Prairie View A&M and…Alabama State.

So if one of these two teams were to capture the SWAC conference championship, it would not be a stretch to say that could be a legitimate 16 or 15 seed in the tournament. Bama State, if they continue on their established path, could finish the as the SWAC regular season champs with 20 wins on the year. Jackson State could finish with 17 wins overall.

And if teams like Georgetown and Maryland can possibly skate in if they reach eight conference wins, surely the SWAC can represent with more than a 65th seed in the national tournament.

WHAT’S HELPING

  • Arkansas Pine-Bluff’s late season run is a big step in improving the conference profile. The Golden Lions have won five of their last seven, with the two losses on the road against Alabama State and Jackson State.
  • Only Texas Southern allows opponents to shoot better than 36 percent from three-point range. No wonder why Texas Southern is dead last in the conference standings.

WHATS HURTING

  • Obviously, the conference RPI is going to be the biggest hurdle to the SWAC receiving a decent seeding. And with a non-conference record of 5-96 overall, you can’t really argue much.
  • Sadly, the SWAC was not included in the ESPN BracketBusters tourney, which would’ve been good for the two games below.

WHATS NEXT?

  • Southern @ University of Arkansas – Pine Bluff – Saturday, Feb. 14 – The Southern Jaguars will look to disrupt the Golden Lions’ winning ways and go to .500 in conference play.
  • Prairie View A&M @ Alabama St. – Saturday, Feb. 28 – A big match-up between a SWAC contender in the Prairie View Panthers and the conference favorite Hornets.
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One Response to “Checking in on the… SWAC”

  1. Ryan Z says:

    A non-conference record of 5-96? Sorry, it may be a good race for the title but the SWAC does not even deserve consideration for two Tournament teams with that glaring statistic. Say hello to the play-in game.

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