The SWAC is not into conference tournament play yet, like some of the other smaller conferences, but we’re getting close. It’s not going to get much attention, though the SWAC should be a highly entertaining, wide-open tournament. Southern, Texas Southern, Jackson State, and Prairie View A&M all are within reach of the SWAC Championship. Prairie View leads the SWAC with a perfect in-conference record of 11-0.
They carry a respectable mark of 12-4 overall. Prairie View is the only team in the conference with 12 wins in their portfolio. That doesn’t always equate to a sure fire win come tournament time, though. We have already seen a couple of upsets in other tournaments, including a massively blown lead by Wright State to lose as a top seed.
The Panthers have two games left on their schedule, with Southern the biggest remaining test. Following this matchup, Prairie View will wrap up the regular season slate on Saturday against Alcorn State. Alcorn State is a 6-10 team going into Thursday. The Panthers shouldn’t have too many problems against Alcorn State at home, with motivation the only obstacle on Saturday in that contest.
Southern has been on a nice roll lately, and should give the Panthers with at least some competition on Thursday. The Jaguars are on a four-game winning streak, with wins against Arkansas Pine Bluff, 73-71, Alcorn State, 75-66, Alabama A&M, 73-57, and Alcorn State, 89-75. It’s a nice stretch for Southern, but none of those teams are worth much.
Arkansas Pine Bluff is only better than Mississippi Valley State, one of the worst teams in the NCAA, so that wasn’t much of an accomplishment. The other three don’t have a forlorn hope in winning the SWAC either. Southern will head on the road for the first time since beating Arkansas-Pine Bluff on February 13, which could have easily been a loss against the 3-20 Golden Lions. Head below for our free Southern vs. Prairie View A&M pick on March 4, 2021.
Southern Jaguars vs. Prairie View A&M Panthers NCAA Betting Odds:
Southern vs. Prairie View A&M Prediction:
Southern is going to have to be much better than they were in their last outing on the road. While they survived in overtime by a couple of points, they should have handled Arkansas-Pine Bluff much more comfortably than 73-71. That kind of effort isn’t going to work at Prairie View A&M tonight. If Southern brings the same form to this game, they are not going to hang around against the Panthers. The Jaguars are 204th in the NCAA with 70.3 points scored per game.
On the road, that figure drops hard to 62.3 points per game. They’ve conceded 73.6 points per game on the road. This hasn’t been against top competition either. Their last five trips on the road have been against teams with records below the .500 mark. That’s certainly not a good sign against the best team in the SWAC on Thursday. While Southern is going in confident with four straight wins, Prairie View has been red-hot since mid-January.
The Panthers haven’t lost a game since December 30 against TCU, 66-61. Despite the loss, that was a pretty good effort against a Big 12 foe. Their previous three losses, which date back to November and December, have been against Louisville, Washington State, and Washington State. Not a terrible lineup of teams from power conferences.
The Panthers can be a difficult defense to solve for opponents. They’re 26th in the NCAA with 63.3 points against per game. At home they’ve allowed fewer than 60 points per game. In their previous five outings, Prairie View has allowed 62.8 points per contest. In what amounts to a meaningless game for Southern on the road, I find it improbable that they’re going to be motivated to grind it out against a physical Panthers’ defense. A 70-60 win doesn’t seem like too much to ask from Prairie View A&M tonight.