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Southern at Texas Southern, 9:00 PM, ESPNU
While the eyes of the nation are in Pasadena tonight for a little football game between Florida State and Auburn, the SCGD will be in Houston, Texas for a SWAC matchup between the defending SWAC tournament champions and the defending SWAC regular season champions. Southern University won the SWAC’s automatic bid last season in a thrilling 45-44 game over an 18 loss Prarie View A&M team before falling to Gonzaga 64-58 in the round of 64. While Southern was the top seed in the SWAC tournament last season, the Jaguars actually finished a game behind Texas Southern in the standings, but APR ineligibility for postseason play kept the Tigers out of the conference tournament.
Southern enters tonight’s game at 5-9 on the season with three of those wins coming against non-D1 competition. However they made headlines in one of those three wins, defeating Champion Baptist 116-12, the third highest margin of victory for a Division 1 school ever, and only the fifth time a D1 team had won by 100 or more points. While Southern certainly will not be able to perform like that against SWAC opponents, there is no reason to believe that this team will not be able to contend for the league title this season.
Texas Southern enters tonight’s game with a 5-8 record including a road win over Temple. They are led by Aaric Murray, who alone is reason enough to watch their games. While Mike Davis’ team was unimpressive in their non-conference slate other than the Temple victory, they do still remain the favorite to win this league, and a victory tonight will get them off to an early lead as we head into the conference season.