For the first time in 13 seasons, both Southern’s men’s and women’s basketball teams could become regular-season champions in the same season.
The road to a regular season title is much simpler for Southern’s women. A win at 5:30 p.m. Thursday against Texas Southern would earn the Jaguars their first outright regular-season title since 2010-11 and would clinch the No. 1 seed in the Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament.
The Jaguars' men and women swept both the regular-season titles and SWAC tournament championships in 2005-06. Southern's women shared the regular- season title with Jackson State.
Southern (14-11, 13-3 SWAC) has previously clinched one of the top four seeds in the SWAC tournament, which begins Tuesday, and will host a first-round game at the F.G. Clark Activity Center.
“I told everyone we’re going to come in and do something great,” said senior captain, forward Briana Green said. “But, you know, we have two more games left in the regular season then it’s tournament time.”
In the event second-place Texas Southern (17-10, 12-4) defeats Southern and finishes with an identical 14-4 record as the Jaguars, the Tigers would have to beat Southern by at least 11 points to win the point differential tiebreaker and top overall seed.
For the men, it’s a mess.
The Jaguars (14-15, 10-6 SWAC) are jammed in a three-way tie for third place alongside Prairie View A&M and Texas Southern, their upcoming opponent directly after the women’s contest Thursday.
Southern, Texas Southern and Prairie View, which the Jaguars will host to end the regular season on Saturday, each are 10-6 against the conference. Arkansas-Pine Bluff remains in second place at 11-6. First-place Grambling State, which has lost twice since Saturday, is 11-5 after winning 11 straight games from Jan. 8 to Feb. 17.
“They see it as two games and we’ve still got a chance,” coach Morris Scott said of Southern. “Because some things that happened over the weekend, we’re still right there in the hunt giving ourselves a chance to have a shot at the title. With Grambling losing two this weekend, it still leaves the window open.”
Alcorn State ended Southern’s five-game winning streak with an 89-85 win Saturday in Lorman, Mississippi — the Jaguars’ first loss since Feb. 3 at Grambling.
Grambling, which is 9-10 on the road this season, will finish this season with two away games at Alabama State and at Alabama A&M.
“The window is still open, we’ve just to do our job,” Scott said.