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SWAC Tournament Bracket 2018: Grambling wins regular season title, but Arkansas-Pine Bluff takes the No. 1 seed

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Grambling is not eligible due to academic violations.

NCAA Basketball: Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Cincinnati Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The SWAC bracket is set as Arkansas-Pine Bluff claimed the No. 1 seed on tiebreakers despite finishing second to Grambling State in the regular season. It’s an interesting situation for the SWAC, as Grambling State finished the regular season in first, but is ineligible for postseason play due to academic violations. Grambling was clearly the best team in conference play, but that won’t matter now.

Instead, the SWAC Tournament bracket looks like this:

Although Arkansas-Pine Bluff is the No. 2 seed, Prairie View A&M and Texas Southern are ranked significantly higher in KenPom and will get to play at a neutral site after the first round. While the quarterfinals are held on campuses, the semis and the finals are held in Houston, which means that things could get out of hand quickly.

Arkansas-Pine Bluff was gifted with the No. 1 seed by virtue of beating Grambling State once. However, the Golden Lions ended the season with a 3-5 record in their last eight games, which does not really bode well. But getting that No. 1 seed means they will get to play Mississippi Valley State, the worst team in the SWAC by far, in the quarterfinals and only have to play one of Texas Southern/Prairie View. They could still lose to either Southern or Jackson State though, both of which beat UAPB in the regular season.

I think Prairie View will take this one, but it’s really completely up in the air.

How to watch

All of the SWAC games before the final will not be televised online. The SWAC Championship game, set for Saturday, March 10 at 4 p.m., will air live on ESPN2.

Schedule

Tuesday, March 6

No. 1 Arkansas-Pine Bluff vs. No. 8 Mississippi Valley State – 7:30 p.m.

No. 2 Prairie View A&M vs. No. 7 Alcorn State – 8:30 p.m.

No. 3 Texas Southern vs. No. 6 Alabama State – 8:00 p.m.

No. 4 Southern vs. No. 5 Jackson State – 7:30 p.m.

Friday, March 9

Semifinals at 2:30 and 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 10

Championship at 4 p.m.