FIRST TIME DANCE The Univ. of Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions, the 2010 SWAC Tournament Champions, will face Winthrop University of the Big South Conference in the Opening Round Game of the 2010 NCAA Tournament Tuesday at 6:30 p.m CT on ESPN.
This is UAPB’s first trip to the NCAAs in school history. The Golden Lions entered the SWAC in 1997-98 and have qualified for the SWAC Tournament each of the last six years.
SEASON RECAP The Golden Lions opened the season with a 14-game road trip over the first two months of the season, playing the likes of Texas-El Paso, Oklahoma State, Georgia Tech, Missouri, and Kansas State – all teams that are in the 2010 NCAA Tournament field of 65.
UAPB finished second in the league race with a 14-4 conference record. In the Farmers Insurance SWAC Tournament, the Golden Lions defeated Mississippi Valley State (69-66), Alabama State (48-46), and Texas Southern (50-36) to win the tournament title for the first time. UAPB’s Allan Smith was named MVP.
SWAC IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT The Golden Lions will become the ninth league school to participate in the NCAA Tournament.
This will be the 30th NCAA Tournament appearance by a Southwestern Athletic Conference school. Southern has the most appearances with seven, followed by Alcorn State (six), Mississippi Valley St. and Texas Southern (four each), Alabama State and Jackson State (three each), and Alabama A&M and Prairie View A&M (one each). The SWAC is 4-29 overall in the NCAA Tournament. Alcorn State has won three times, while Southern has earned one NCAA win.
The Braves of 2010 College Basketball Hall of Fame Coach Davey L. Whitney posted three NCAA Tournament wins in five years from 1980-84. Alcorn State posted wins in 1980 (70-62 over South Alabama), 1983 (81-75 over Xavier) and 1984 (79-60 over Houston Baptist). Southern, led by Head Coach Ben Jobe, was the last conference team to win an NCAA Tournament game, defeating Georgia Tech 93-78.
SWAC IN OPENING ROUND GAME Univ. Arkansas-Pine Bluff will become the fifth SWAC team to play in the opening round game.
2002 Alcorn State (lost to Siena 81-77)
2003 Texas Southern (lost to UNC – Asheville 92-84 (ot)
2005 Alabama A&M (lost 79-69 to Oakland)
2009 Alabama St. (lost to Morehead St. 58-43)
2010 Univ. Arkansas Pine Bluff vs. Winthrop
#2 UAPB 50, #5 TEXAS SOUTHERN 38
Tavaris Washington 14 points and tournament MVP Allen Smith added 11 as the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff defeated Texas Southern 50-36 in the Farmers Insurance SWAC Basketball Tournament Men’s Championship.
#2 seed UAPB (17-15) qualifies for the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. Texas Southern, the #5 seed, finished 17-16.
The lead changed hands seven times early with one tie, but the Golden Lions took the lead for good at the 5:53 mark on a three-pointer by George Davis and never trailed again. UAPB led 26-20 at halftime.
In the second half, Univ. Arkansas-Pine Bluff extended to a double-digit lead at 41-31 on a pair of free throws by Washington with 8:45 to play and maintained its double-digit lead the remainder of the game.
Deandre Hall and Junior Treasure led Texas Southern with 14 points each.
Garrison Johnson, Jackson State
Tramayne Moorer, Alabama State
Junior Treasure, Texas Southern
Deandre Hall, Texas Southern
Allen Smith, Univ. Arkansas-Pine Bluff
MVP: Allen Smith, UAPB