Grambling State (0-27) vs. Alabama A&M (10-19)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, March 13, 9 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Curtis Culwell Center (7,000) -- Garland, Texas. Television: None. Home Record: Grambling 0-9, Alabama A&M 7-6. Away Record: Grambling 0-18, Alabama A&M 3-13. Neutral Record: Grambling 0-0, Alabama A&M 0-0. Conference Record: Grambling 0-18, Alabama A&M 6-12. Series Record: Alabama A&M leads, 18-13.
GAME NOTES: The Southwestern Athletic Conference Tournament tips off on Wednesday night, as the seventh-seeded Grambling State Tigers take on the sixth-seeded Alabama A&M Bulldogs in the quarterfinal round at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas.
The winner will advance to play No. 1 Southern in Friday's semifinals.
To say Grambling State's season has been a disappointment would be an incredible understatement. Not only did it go winless in the SWAC (0-18), but it was the only team in Division I to fail to register a win at all (0-27) and all of its losses have come by double-digits. The Tigers dropped their regular-season finale at home to Alabama State, 74-62.
While Alabama A&M's struggles have paled in comparison to Grambling's, it has still endured a lackluster season, going 6-12 in the league while boasting a 10-19 mark overall. The Bulldogs enter the tournament having lost four of its last five games, including a 60-57 road defeat at Jackson State in the March 2 finale.
Alabama A&M beat Grambling State twice this season by a combined 52 points to improve its standing in the all-time series to 18-13.
Grambling State was actually in contention late in its most recent game, even leading by a point midway through the second quarter, but it lost control down the stretch en route to the 12-point defeat. Terry Rose led the way with 19 points, while Demetri Wheeler and Peter Roberson netted 11 and 10 points, respectively, while combining for 17 rebounds. The Tigers' historically bad season has been mired in futility both on the offensive end of the floor, where they shoot just 36.3 percent from the floor for a Division I-worst 49.6 ppg, as well as the defensive end (77.0 ppg). They aren't helped much by their brutal turnover (-8.0) and rebounding (-7.1) margins either. Rose is the only consistent source of points for the squad with 13.4 ppg.
Despite outshooting Jackson State from the field on its regular-season finale, 42.9 percent to 38 percent, Alabama A&M ultimately fell on the wrong end of a three-point decision by losing the turnover battle (14-8) and by getting outscored at the foul line (15-5). Jeremy Crutcher tallied 13 points and nine rebounds, Brandon Ellis poured in 10 points, and Demarquelle Tabb hauled in 10 boards. The Bulldogs too have struggled on the offensive end of the court, shooting less than 40 percent from the field for 63.4 ppg. They are led by Tabb, who is one of the SWAC's top big men with 13.9 ppg, 9.5 rpg and more than a block and a steal per contest. Crutcher chips in 11.8 ppg and hands out 4.9 apg, while Ellis brings 10.7 ppg to the table.
Amazingly enough, with an invite to the SWAC Tournament, Grambling State still has an opportunity to represent the league in the NCAA Tournament after a dreadful season, but it has played so poorly this season that anything other than a convincing win by Alabama A&M would be a surprise.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Alabama A&M 70, Grambling State 52
03/13 11:12:06 ET