Always Alcorn — The Braves increased their winning streak to 11 straight games, its longest winning streak since the 1998-99 season when it won 12 in a row. The streak is the currently tied for the fifth longest active in the country. (Vermont 19 straight, Monmouth 16, Princeton 15, Wichita State 12 and SMU 11).
Stealing the show in the SWAC — Grambling State ranks ninth among the 347 NCAA Division I men’s basketball programs in steals with 9.0 steals per game. Arkansas-Pine Bluff is ranked 13th in the category with 8.6 steals per contest and Prairie View A&M is ranked 15th in steals with 8.4 per game. West Virigina is first in the country with 10.9 steals per game.
Crashing the boards — No team has been better than Alabama State at grabbing offensive rebounds. The Hornets ranked 10th nationally in the category with 13.68 offensive rebounds per game. North Carolina is first in the nation with 15.94 offensive boards per contest.
Playoff seeding scenarios — If Texas Southern defeats Alcorn State on Thursday, the Tigers would clinch the No. 1 seed for the tournament. A win for Alcorn would keep the seedings a mystery until Saturday night’s games. A tie in record would be broken by point differential in the head-to-head meetings. Currently, TSU holds a plus two point differential in the head-to-head series with Alcorn.
Fourth seed up for grabs — Clinching a fourth seed could loom large for teams who are trying to secure home court advantage. Currently, Grambling State, Jackson State and Prairie View A&M are all bunched together with a 8-8 conference record and are tied for the fourth playoff seed.
Grambling State holds the tiebreaker over Jackson State (won both head-to-head meetings). However, Prairie View A&M holds the tiebreaker over Grambling (split meetings, but hold a plus nine point differential) while Jackson State holds a tiebreaker over PVAMU (split, plus two point differential). In the event of a three-way tie, Grambling would earn the tie-break based upon a 3-1 record against the teams followed by Prairie View A&M (2-2 record) and then Jackson State (1-3 record).
Who’s in? — Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Mississippi Valley State (both 6-11 in conference play) will take it down the final regular season game for a playoff spot in the tournament. The teams will meet in each of their regular season finales on Saturday afternoon in Itta Bena, Miss. Tip off is set for 4 p.m.
A win for either team would clinch their spot into the playoffs. The losing team will not qualify based upon Alabama State’s tiebreaker advantage held over both teams (plus four point differential vs. UAPB and plus two point differential vs. MVSU).