Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Introducing Cinderella: Texas Southern heading to third tournament in four years

Conference: Southwestern Athletic Conference

Coach: Mike Davis (Texas Southern)

Record: 24-11 (16-2)

Ratings and Rankings:
– Kenpom: 205
– RPI: 120
– AP/USA Today: N/A

Seeding: With champions from the MEAC, Big Sky, Big West and Southland all with inferior RPIs compared to Texas Southern, it’s likely that the Tigers will avoid Dayton and the No. 16 line all together. Entering the day, NBC Sports latest bracket projected the Tigers to be a No. 15 seed, squaring off with Duke.

Names you need to know: Zach Lofton is the team’s leading scorer at 17.4 points per game. Demontrae Jefferson, the diminutive freshman floor general, is a human-highlight reel and 7-foot-1 Marvin Jones is the conference’s defensive player of the year.

Stats you need to know: The Tigers don’t shoot the ball well from deep. In fact, both of their top scorers are sub-30 percent shooters from distance. Texas Southern likes to get to the line where a quarter of its points comes from. As a team, the Tigers shoot at a 74 percent clip.

Big wins, bad losses: Best wins would technically be back-to-back road wins at Rice and La Salle in November. Assuming TCU hears its name called on Selection Sunday, the Tigers have lost to five NCAA Tournament teams (Arizona, Louisville, Cincinnati, TCU and Baylor) by an average margin of 30.8 points. Texas Southern also lost in overtime to Mississippi Valley State (7-25). It was the Tigers first of two conference loses to teams with losing records.


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