Sunday, November 6, 2016

College basketball preview: Talented Texas Southern poised to lead SWAC

HOUSTON, Texas -- The crispness of the fall air, the orange hues that overtake the treetops, and the squeak of basketball sneakers in gymnasiums across the country.

These are just some of the telltale signs that basketball is back. More importantly, the annual countdown to March Madness can begin anew.

As much fun as Midnight Madness can be, the culmination of a long offseason is the tipoff of a team's first game. With the start of the 2016-17 season quickly approaching, is cracking the books and breaking things down in each of college basketball's 32 conferences.

Let’s continue on with a look at the Southwest Athletic Conference.


The 2015-16 SWAC belonged to Texas Southern throughout the regular season, but as happens all too often in small conferences, the Tigers fell short of their one way to get to the Big Dance: winning the conference tournament.

After going 16-2 in regular-season conference play, Texas Southern was upended by Southern in the conference semifinals. That ended the NCAA tournament hopes of the regular-season champs, who had a very strange year after starting 1-11 in non-conference action before winning 17 of their next 19.

After taking down the Tigers, fourth-seeded Southern moved on to the SWAC Championship Game, where it met No. 3 seed Jackson State. That battle was a very entertaining one, with Jaguars guard Adrian Rodgers hitting a jumper with 17 seconds left to lift Southern to a 54-53 win and trip to the NCAA tournament.


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