Texas Southern beating then No. 25 Michigan State on the road last Saturday sent shock waves through the college basketball world.
TSU’s win in East Lansing capped off a three-game stretch this month that saw SWAC men’s basketball programs top either traditional Division I powers or high mid-majors.
It started with Arkansas-Pine Bluff knocking off Houston. Then it was Jackson State, a school that had lost seven straight, blowing out in-state rival Southern Mississippi by 20 in Jackson.
The big one was defending SWAC champion Texas Southern surprising Big Ten favorite Michigan State.
The unexpected wins signaled to some that SWAC basketball was on the road to improvement after a recent run of being regarded as one of the worst conferences in all of college basketball.
Had the SWAC finally turned the corner?
The numbers say otherwise. In fact, the SWAC might be trending downward.
Heading into Tuesday, the SWAC’s non-conference record so far during the 2014-15 season stood at 19-89. That’s a staggering .176 winning percentage. A far cry from from the success experienced over the last week.
While it is safe to say the SWAC had little chance against RPI top 25 teams, a record that stands at 1-5, the conference has struggled with RPI top 51-100. SWAC schools are 1-21 in those games.
As impressive as Texas Southern’s win over Michigan State was, they had won once heading into the matchup.
Alabama A&M, Prairie View, Mississippi Valley State and Alcorn State are stuck on just one win this season.
So far, Alabama State — who has managed to win three games — is the league’s best team.
There is still a long way to go for individual teams and conference alike until SWAC play starts in earnest when more wins are sure to be on the horizon.
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