Monday, January 16, 2017

TSU Seeks Brutal Schedule in Hope of Boosting NCAA Chances

HOUSTON, Texas -- It’s not so much that TSU destroyed Grambling State 76-55 on Saturday night. It’s not so much that Texas Southern is now a perfect 4-0 in SWAC conference play, or even so much that the Tigers have won four straight games. Instead, it’s about this. TSU played its 17th game of the season Saturday night. And it was TSU’s first home game.

TSU is now 8-9, but don’t be fooled by that record because TSU has played a difficult ridiculously difficult non-conference schedule that has included facing No. 1 Baylor, No. 14 Louisville, No. 16 Arizona and No. 22 Cincinnati (all rankings as of Sunday). The schedule has also included games against 14-3 TCU and 12-6 Rice.

Playing all of these non-conference games on the road has become a common occurrence since Mike Davis took over the program five seasons ago. Davis realizes his team should always compete for the SWAC title, and that winning the SWAC tournament means an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. But Davis wants more for his team than just that automatic bid because that usually means getting stuck with a No. 16 seed or a play-in game.

So Davis takes his team on the road. He schedules difficult games. And he does with one goal in mind, raising his team’s RPI as high as it can get before the team gets into conference play.


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