DAYTON – Separated by a little more than 200 miles, Texas Southern and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi meet in the opening game of the 2022 NCAA Tournament. The two schools are both No. 16 seeds and compete for an opportunity to take on Kansas, the top seed in the Midwest Region.
Texas Southern won the SWAC championship with an 87-62 win over Alcorn State, the conference regular season champion, on Saturday. TSU shot the lights out at a clip of 55.7%. It limited Alcorn State to 28.3% shooting for the game and an abysmal 6-for-34 (17.7%) in the second half.
Five Tigers were in double figures. John Walker II led the way with 17 points on 6-for-8 shooting and six rebounds in 20 minutes off the bench. PJ Henry knocked in 15 points.
The Tigers finished second in the regular season at 13-5. They have won four straight and seven of their last eight over the past month.
Texas Southern is led by a balanced scoring attack as eight players average at least 6.0 points per game. Walker leads the way at 9.9, and Joirdon Karl Nicholas was second with 9.2 points.
Meanwhile, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi is in the Tournament after it won the Southland Conference championship. The Islanders finished fourth in the regular season and upset both top-seed Nicholls State 71-64 and No. 2 Southeastern Louisiana 73-65 to claim the conference crown.
In the title game against Southeastern, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi trailed early but used a 13-1 first-half run to get back into the contest. Terrion Murdix netted 13 points and five steals on his way to being named Tournament MVP. Simeon Fryer registered 13 points, six rebounds and five assists.
Similar to Texas Southern, the Islanders have won four straight and seven of their last eight games. Isaac Mushila averaged a team-best 13.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. Trevian Tennyson was second in scoring at 11.8 points.
Matchup: Texas Southern vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
Date and Time: Tuesday, March 15 at 6:40 p.m. ET
Location: UD Arena, Dayton, Ohio
DraftKings Line: Texas Southern -3.5, O/U 135