SWAC Tournament Preview and Postseason Awards

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source: Getty Images
Getty Images

The Bracket

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When: March 10-14

Where: Houston, Texas

Final: Saturday, March 14, 5:30 p.m., ESPNU

READ MORE: NBCSports.com’s 2015 Conference Tournament Previews

Favorite: Texas Southern

Texas Southern is the most talented team in the SWAC, as Mike Davis as made a habit of collecting high-major talents that, for whatever reason, couldn’t cut it at a bigger school. Chris Thomas, Deverell Biggs, and Nevin Johnon all spent time at high-major programs, and none of those three is the leading scorer for the Tigers. There’s a reason they were able to win at Kansas State and Michigan State.

And if they lose?: Alabama State

The Hornets knocked off Jackson State on the final day of the regular season to earn the No. 2 seed in the SWAC tournament. At one point during league play, Alabama State had a 10-1 record, but they lost three out of five at one point and finished two games behind TSU.

Sleepers:

  • Prairie View A&M – Led by Montrael Scott, the Panthers are the only SWAC eligible for the postseason that actually knocked off Texas Southern this year. They finished fourth in the league.
  • Southern – The Jaguars did not win a non-conference game against a Division I opponent this season, but once league play kicked off, they finished all alone in third place, meaning they won’t play Texas Southern until the title game.

Player of the Year: Madarius Gibbs, Texas Southern

Gibbs was the leading scorer on the best team in the conference, a guy that anchored this team as they battled through injuries during conference play. He averaged 14.1 points and 4.2 assists.

Coach of the Year: Mike Davis, Texas Southern

Davis led the Jaguars to the league’s regular season title, bringing together a talented group that didn’t exactly have smooth college careers. He also led TSU to wins over Michigan State and Kansas State.

All-SWAC Team:

  • Gibbs
  • Leantwan Luckett, Alcorn State – The Mississippi native averaged 16.3 points this season, although Alcorn State had a rough season, finishing 4-14 in the league.
  • Jamel Waters, Alabama State — Waters was arguably the best point guard in the conference, averaging 13.4 points and 5.4 assists for the league’s second-best team.
  • Nick West, Alabama A&M – West was the SWAC’s leading rebounder and the only player in the conference to average a double-double.
  • Montreal Scott, Prairie View A&M – Scott is one of the league’s most explosive scorers. Ask Alcorn State. He had 31 points in a win in the season finale.

CBT PREDICTION: Texas Southern earns their bid to the dance.