09 March 2014

2014 SWAC Tournament Predictions

Now the 2014 Southwestern Athletic Conference Tournament will be a little unique, and a little bizarre. Due to four programs (top-seeded Southern, fourth-seeded Arkansas-Pine Bluff, ninth-seeded Mississippi Valley State and tenth-seeded Grambling State) being under APR sanctions and thus ineligible for postseason play, that would leave only six teams eligible in the conference to advance to the NCAA's. But at the beginning of the month, the conference got a special exemption from the selection committee that would allow those ineligible teams to compete in the conference tournament, and the furthest-advancing team that under sanctions will advance (in the case of a tie, the tiebreaker is the seed). And that means a team can get to the tournament after not winning their conference title, which is a great thing in the worst basketball conference in the land.

Well that was a mouthful. Here are my 2014 SWAC Tournament predictions.

*Ineligible 

First Round - March 11th
#10 Grambling State* vs. #7 Jackson State - 12:30
Pick: Jackson State

#9 Mississippi Valley State* vs. #8 Prairie View A&M - 8:00
Pick: Prairie View A&M

Quarterfinals - March 12th
#7 Jackson State vs. #2 Texas Southern - 12:30
Pick: Jackson State

#8 Prairie View A&M vs. #1 Southern* - 8:00
Pick: Southern*

March 13th
#6 Alcorn State vs. #3 Alabama State - 12:30
Pick: Alabama State

#5 Alabama A&M vs. #4 Arkansas-Pine Bluff* - 8:00
Pick: Arkansas-Pine Bluff*

Semifinals - March 14th
#7 Jackson State vs. #3 Alabama State - 2:30
Pick: Jackson State

#4 Arkansas-Pine Bluff* vs. #1 Southern* - 8:30
Pick: Southern*

Championship - March 15th
#7 Jackson State vs. #1 Southern* - ESPN2, 3:30
In this scenario, the Tigers are already into March Madness, but I think they will pull the huge upset and get the bid outright. I was impressed how after getting crushed in their first meeting where Southern won by 24, Southern only won by five in the second meeting. I think that positive momentum will continue for the title.
Pick: Jackson State

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