There is only one postseason eligible team in the SWAC that is going to finish the season with a winning record, and that team, the Southern Jaguars is expected to rumble to the NCAA Tournament. First up though, is a date on the college basketball odds against the Prairie View A&M Panthers.
The Panthers have to look at what they have been given here as a gift. They didn’t have to contend with some of the top teams in the SWAC this year, and they have two convincing wins to show for their work against the Alcorn State Braves and the Jackson State Tigers. Here’s what needs to come into play, though. The last time Prairie View took on the Jaguars, the team shot 14-of-55 from the field and managed just 39 points on its home court. To say that that won’t cut it in this one is a tremendous understatement. However, we do see some promise here at this point. G Jourdan DeMuynck scored 37 points against Jackson State, raising his scoring average up to 15.7 points per game. G Montrael Scott has stepped up and netted 33 points in two games here in the SWAC Tournament after averaging less than four points per game in the regular season. G Carl Blair is stepping up and distributing the basketball as well. It’s going to take a collective effort from all of the top players on this team to upset Southern though, and the Panthers have to know it.
Southern has been flat out rolling. The team only had to play one game to reach the SWAC Final, and that one effort was a dominating 72-59 win over the Alabama A&M Hornets. Not surprisingly, the two heroes in that game were G Malcolm Miller and G Derick Beltran. These two combined to hit 10 three-point field goals in the game, and they scored 19 points each. Both are averaging over 16 points per game on the season, and they’ll both need to produce to win this game. On the other side of the court, the Jaguars cannot be underestimated either. They rank second in the land in team defense, allowing teams to shoot just 36.4 percent from the field against them, and the end result is just 57.5 points per game against. Seven of the last 10 foes have been held to 59 points or fewer against this Southern team, and if that turns out to be the case again on Saturday, the Jags are going to be dancing.
Unfortunately for the SWAC, this is a conference that was ruined by postseason bans. The Jaguars probably weren’t the best team in the conference this year; Texas Southern probably was. As it is though, here’s where we are at. The defense is going to be good enough to win this game for the Jaguars, but we think that Prairie View is going to have enough to make this an interesting final no less. Take the points. Southern 66 – Prairie View A&M 61
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.