Like many of the smaller conferences across the country, the SWAC will see just one team in the NCAA Tournament, making every game incredibly important when it gets started on Wednesday, March 10th. The championship will be held on Saturday, March 13th, and every game will take place at Bartow Arena in Birmingham, Alabama. Just eight of the conference’s 10 teams will participate in this event.
We’ll be taking a look at some of the best teams in each conference, and providing picks and predictions for each conference tournament. Plenty of favorites will win, but we’ve got some sleepers to consider that might be able to pull off a big upset on the way to the NCAA Tournament.
Here’s the bracket for the SWAC Conference Tournament with TV listings, dates and times.
Favorite: Prairie View A&M Panthers
Prairie View A&M (14-4, 13-0 SWAC) is the No. 1 seed of the SWAC tournament after being one of two teams to go through this conference slate with an undefeated record along with Jackson State. The Panthers are riding a 13-game winning streak and have a very balanced team on offense and defense. They score the second most points per game on average and allow the second fewest, though it’s the defensive end that is ranked much better in adjusted efficiency. Prairie View A&M is far and away the best in the conference with a 4.61 turnover margin. Junior guard Jawaun Daniels leads the team with 14.6 points per game with 6.3 rebounds, both of which are team highs.
Sleeper: Texas Southern Tigers
Texas Southern (13-8, 10-3 SWAC) is the No. 3 seed in this tournament but could be overlooked due to a pair of teams who have zero conference losses at the top. The Tigers have the third best winning streak with six in a row and play a fast style as they rank No. 32 in pace of play in the country. Texas Southern leads the conference in scoring with 74 points per game, led by senior guard Michael Weathers, who averages team highs in points (16.2), assists (3.5) and steals (2.4) per game.
Dark Horse: Southern Jaguars
Southern (8-10, 8-6 SWAC) will enter the SWAC tournament as the fifth seed, but the Jaguars have an outside chance at making a run. The Jaguars played all of the top teams in the conference tough, so they have proven they can hang with the best in the SWAC. Southern leads the conference in defensive rebounds per game, so opponents are more likely to have just one shot at the basket per possession. Nobody will stand out statistically on this roster, but junior guard Samkelo Cele averages 11.8 points and 3.9 rebounds per game with 1.5 steals.