Grambling at Southern, 6:30 PM Eastern, gojagsports.com
It is time for the Bayou Classic, basketball style, tonight as the two biggest rivals in the SWAC meet in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in our Under the Radar Game of the Day. Entering play today, these two long-time rivals are part of a logjam of teams in the conference standings as only 3 games separate second place from 9th. Grambling State and Southern both sit at 5-4 in SWAC play as the teams battle to finish in the top 8 (and earn a berth in the conference tournament) and beyond that to finish in the top four (and earn a home game in the quarterfinal round before the tournament moves to Houston for the semifinals and finals).
Southern University is currently 9-13 overall. The Jaguars won the SWAC Tournament last season before losing to Holy Cross in the First Four. Their tournament bid was a story in and of itself after two years spent ineligible for postseason play due to the NCAA (unjustly in our opinions) punishing the school for mistakes in submitting APR numbers years before. Shawn Prudhomme has led the Jaguars so far this season, with double digit scoring in all but one conference game. He and his teammates have lost their last two games, and desperately need a win in this rivalry matchup to get things moving back in the right direction.
Grambling State holds the distinction of being the only program to ever win the HoopsHD Centenary Award for the worst D1 program in the nation twice. The Tigers have not won 10 or more games since 2011 but, at 9-12 entering play tonight, have a chance to do that tonight and maybe even take a shot at a winning overall record, something they have not had since 2006. Remond Brown is one of the key players for Grambling, and was one of three player in double figures last time out in an overtime win over Mississippi Valley State. Ervin Mitchell led the team in that game with 24 points and Avery Ugba had a double-double. If the three all play as well again today, the Tigers have a chance to win this version of the Bayou Classic and pick up that huge 10th victory.