The Southern men’s basketball team will play its first game in the Southwestern Athletic Conference Tournament at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 12.
The Jaguars are the regular-season champions and top seed. They will play the winner of the game between the eighth seed and the ninth seed, who meet at 8 p.m. the day before.
The SWAC released the bracket Monday afternoon, but the seedings won’t be complete until the regular season concludes Saturday.
The Southern women, who are in first place, could be seeded No. 1, No. 2 or No. 3. Their first game could be played at 10 a.m. or 5:30 p.m. on March 12 or at 10 a.m. March 13, depending on their seeding.
Both teams are ineligible for NCAA postseason play.
The entire bracket can be found at www.SWAC.org. Both Jaguars teams are 14-2 in league play as they prepare to host Prairie View A&M on Thursday.
The Southern men’s and women’s basketball teams will participate in the Southwestern Athletic Conference Tournament, but the NCAA postseason ban remains in effect.
The NCAA on Saturday accepted a proposal from the SWAC to amend its automatic-qualifying policy for the 2014 championships only. That means Southern and three other SWAC schools that are facing an NCAA postseason ban – Grambling, Mississippi Valley State and Arkansas-Pine Bluff -– will compete in the SWAC Tournament March 11-15 in Houston.
The SWAC’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament will go to the eligible school that advances farthest in the conference tournament. If multiple eligible teams advance the farthest and are eliminated in the same round of the conference tournament, the automatic qualifier will go to the highest seed of those teams.
The four ineligible schools are banned from NCAA postseason play because of inadequate documentation of student-athletes’ Academic Progress Rates.
The process will be revisited when the men’s and women’s basketball committees meet in the summer.
“It is the conference’s goal to ensure that each student-athlete has equal opportunity for academic and athletic success,” SWAC Commissioner Duer Sharp said in a statement. “The Conference and Council of Presidents acknowledge the financial strain that affect our member institutions in meeting APR requirements. With the approval of the amended policy, the SWAC not only can provide a quality athletic experience, but optimistically provide the means for academic advancements.”
The SWAC Council of Presidents and Chancellors voted in favor of lifting the postseason ban for all SWAC Championship Sports.
The change will allow all of the Jaguars winter and spring sports teams to compete in the SWAC postseason tournaments while the university attempts to get the NCAA postseason ban lifted by satisfying all NCAA requests for complete and accurate APR data.
Southern University and the NCAA plan to issue a joint news release late Thursday afternoon, updating the Jaguars’ effort to have a post-season ban lifted for all of its athletic teams.
The announcement will provide more details about the situation, but will not include an answer as to whether the ban will be lifted.
The NCAA instituted the ban in early December when a routine review of student-athletes’ academic records revealed “unusable data.”
Southern has spent the last three months responding to NCAA requests for voluminous records.
The Jaguars men’s and women’s teams are currently ineligible for the Southwestern Athletic Conference Tournament, which begins March 11.
The men (13-2) have clinched at least a tie for first place and the women (13-2) are in second place, a half-game behind Texas Southern.
Both teams play at Alcorn State on Saturday.
Southern will receive $10,000 in general scholarship money as a result of being one of 16 schools selected Monday in the NCAA 6th Fan Contest.
The online competition is an opportunity for fans to vote for their schools in a bracket similar to that of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
Voting at www.NCAA.com/6thFan between now and Sunday, Feb. 23 will determine which schools advance to the Elite Eight. The Jaguars are seeded 12th and paired against fifth-seeded Central Florida.
The contest, which tries to determine “the most spirited, most dedicated, most passionate fans” in college basketball, is a joint promotion between the NCAA, CBS Sports and Turner Sports.
Here is the entire bracket:
No. 1 North Dakota State vs. No. 16 Portland
No. 2 Arkansas State vs. No. 15 North Carolina-Greensboro
No. 3 South Dakota State vs. No. 14 Arkansas-Little Rock
No. 4 Texas-Pan American vs. No. 13 Northern Iowa
No. 5 Central Florida vs. No. 12 Southern
No. 6 Western Illinois vs. No. 11 New Mexico
No. 7 Bryant vs. No. 10 North Carolina-Asheville
No. 8 BYU vs. No. 9 Western Carolina
Each school has the option of awarding the scholarship money to a randomly selected student or for deposit in the school’s general scholarship fund.
The winner from the Sweet Sixteen will be announced Feb. 24 and another round of head-to-head voting will determine the Final Four on March 3. The two finalists will be announced March 10.
CBS college basketball analyst Clark Kellogg will host a live Google+ Hangout February 24 to answer fans’ questions.
Fans can also vote via Twitter using #6thFan and their school’s unique hashtag and connect their Facebook to the site to vote and register for a chance to win prizes.
The school that receives the most votes in the final round, which ends on Selection Sunday (March 16) will win a $100,000 contribution to its general scholarship fund.
One randomly selected participant who registers and votes on NCAA.com will win an all-expense paid trip to the 2015 Men’s Final Four in Indianapolis April 4-6, 2015. Additionally, iPad Airs will be awarded in each of the five rounds to randomly chosen individuals who vote via NCAA.com in each respective round.
The Southern baseball team goes for a sweep of the Urban Invitational when it plays UNO at noon Sunday in Alex Box Stadium.
The Jaguars began the season with back-to-back 7-5 victories against Grambling in the tournament, which is sponsored by major League Baseball.
The Privateers began the season with consecutive losses to LSU, which meets Grambling in the finale of the tournament at 4 p.m.
Here are the starting lineups for UNO and Southern:
1. CF Lance Jones
2. LF Tyler Kirksey
3. 3B Harley Wiltz
4. RF D.J. Wallace
5. DH Almann Snowden
6. C Jose De La Torre
7. 1B Brian Rowry
8. 2B Marcus Tomlin
9. SS Bud Morton
SP — RH Rafeal Diaz
1. LF Mitchell Alexander
2. 2B Zach Liberto
3. DH Reese Kanter
4. 1B Cameron Hoffman
5. RF Dane Landry
6. 3B Jonathan Coco
7. SS Samuel Capielano
8. C Brian Dixon
9. CF Chaz Boyer
SP — RH Nick Halliday
Follow @EastAdvocate and @AdvocateSports for in-game updates.
The Southern baseball team goes into its first game week with a lot of catching up to do.
The Jaguars, who open the season against Grambling on Friday at Lee-Hones Field, have been limited to four intra-squad practices because of wet, cold and icy weather during preseason practice.
“It’s created some issues, but there have been times in the past where we had to work through difficult periods,” Southern coach Roger Cador said. “It’s nothing to complain about. We’ll be OK, we just might be a little behind.”
Cador said the limited practice time has been a bigger issue with the pitchers, though everyone was affected.
“You really have more of a concern for your pitchers and making sure that they’re getting their arms in shape properly,” Cadord said. “That’s the biggest concern because they’re so valuable and you don’t want to hurt them so you worry more about them than anybody. We’re really being careful.”
The limited practice time has meant less time to zero in on specific roles for pitchers as the opener looms.
“We had to pitch more guys in order to give each a fair look,” Cador said. “So we didn’t pitch people as long because we had to get as many kids in as we could. With pitchers you want to always look and see what you’ve got.”
The best look that Cador and his staff have gotten as been with players fielding ground balls because the infield was covered during rains. Last week there was standing water in left field as the Jaguars worked around the freezing conditions as best they could.
The limited preseason work means the first few games of the season will provide opportunities for Cador to catch up on some of the evaluating he couldn’t complete during preseason.
Southern will play three games over the weekend as part of the Urban Invitational. It will meet Grambling a second time Saturday in New Orleans and will face UNO on Sunday at Alex Box Stadium.
“We will really have to do a lot of correcting and teaching the first four games or so just because we haven’t had much time for it,” Cador said. “Hopefully our upperclassmen will really be a positive influence on the younger players.
“I need to show a great amount of patience and I’ll have to do a lot of encouraging – being positive, reinforcing things, making sure we can take things into the next game and try to get better.”
Cador said he’s not overly concerned about being behind because Southern’s post-season fate won’t be determined until the Southwestern Athletic Conference race is decided.
“The thing I tell them is the thing that we really have to look at here at Southern and in the SWAC is that you’ve got to win the conference to go to the regional,” he said. “It’s not where we start, it’s how we finish, as opposed to some of the other schools that can get an at-large bid. So they need to win, win, win.
“We just have to make sure we get them in the best shape for when we do get the opportunity to play, and try to be playing really good in May and then try to win the conference. That’s basically what our season all boils down to even though we’d like to win as many games as we can, but the big picture is you’ve got to win the tournament.”
Besides, the Jaguars weren’t the only ones affected by the unusually harsh winter.
“The people we have to compete against are pretty much in a similar boat,” Cador said.