At the end of each season, the Southwestern Athletic Conference is represented by one team in the NCAA Tournament.
For this year it will be the same, and just over a month into the college basketball season, a date in the NCAA Play-In game might be all the conference has to look forward to.
High expectations are rare for any of the ten teams featured in the SWAC conference, and in 2009-2010, the struggles to begin the season are among the worst in the country.
Here are some the early-season highlights from the conference:
A total of 14 wins between the conference’s 10 teams.
No teams are above .500
The conference is 14-63 overall
The conference has a combined winning percentage of .182
The most wins by any team is four (Prairie View A&M)
Three winless teams totaling an 0-22 start
Four one-win teams totaling a 4-27 start
Combined, the bottom seven teams in the conference are 4-49 overall
Alabama A&M sits in first place at 3-3
Alcorn State is 0-10, losing by an average of 32 points
Let’s be honest. The conference cannot be expected to put up big numbers, but the stats don’t lie, the Southwestern Athletic Conference is just awful.
Alcorn State began the season as one of the few teams playing in early November as part of the 2K Sports Coach vs. Cancer Classic. The end result was an embarrassing 100-60 loss at the hands of Ohio State, while their most recent game was a 98-31 loss to the nation’s top team in Kansas.
For the conference’s first place team, Alabama A&M, they sit at 3-3 overall. However, all three of their wins have come against teams who are not Division I. Their three losses are against South Carolina, Auburn, and Stillman (another school that is not Division I).
Prairie View A&M has the most wins overall in the conference at four. Three of which have come against non-Division I programs as well. At 4-5 the only victory which served any meaning was a 69-54 win over Florida Gulf Coast.
The four teams that have secured one win overall are Grambling State, Alabama State, Southern University, and Mississippi Valley State. With the exception of Southern University, the other three one-win teams have picked up their lone victory on the year against a non-Division I opponent. Southern University picked up their first win of the season over New Orleans just yesterday, Dec. 12.
The scheduling is questionable for the lower Division I programs that make up the SWAC conference. However, if the lower competition was not featured on the schedule of these teams, their overall records might just be even worse than 14-63.
The 10 team league will fight for the one lone spot in the NCAA Tournament once conference play begins. For these teams, the opportunity cannot come quicker.
*Photo Credit: The Sacramento Bee