Texas Southern Tigers Basketball: 0-13 and still a Favorite to Make NCAA Tournament

Did you read that right? The Texas Southern Tigers, a 0-13 team is a favorite to make the NCAA Tournament?  How is that even possible? Well, the reason they are 0-13 is because of who they have played. For example, they started the season against the likes of Gonzaga and Washington State (who they took to OT).  Ohio State, Kansas, Syracuse, Clemson, and Baylor also were all on the schedule. In addition to scheduling tough, they have yet to play a home game their first home game will be Monday when they open conference play.

Head Coach Mike Davis who took Indiana to the 2002 National Title game has created this schedule because he feels it will help his team be ready for the conference play and to possibly make a splash in the NCAA tournament. Being that Texas Southern Tigers is a SWAC team he knows teams won’t come to Houston to take on his team.


Of their first 13 games, 9 of them were against “A” teams which basically means top 50 teams. Pomeroy gives the Texas Southern Tigers a 71% chance to win the league title and Conference tournament. Coach Davis believes his team will win the national championship one day because of his scheduling. His quote to the Arizona Republic last year was “I just want to win a National Championship. People are saying there is no way you can do that at Texas Southern. It’s like when Phil Knight started Nike when there were Converse and Adidas. People said, “Why would you do that?” But look at Nike does now.” Of course, there is also the monetary side of the schedule.

In 2016 Texas Southern made $900,000 from its non-conference games and only had to give $350,000 of it to their athletic department.  Heres Coach Davis in another quote from the Arizona Republic. “To have a home game you have to pay the officials $4,000-$5,000. The people working the scoring table another $2,500. So to have a home game, you have to clear $10,000. We aren’t going to clear $10,000. And I don’t want to waste my time playing NAIA teams.  If we play a lower team nobody’s gonna come in and see that. The math is simple.”

Instead, these kids get to play marquee teams in bigger arenas which give the kids’ confidence come tournament time. He has yet to win a tournament game but I will tell you this I don’t want my college facing them in the first round. With any luck, Coach Davis and his Texas Southern Tigers will win a Tournament game and become the latest Cinderella.  I know I will be rooting for them as long as they don’t face Duke.



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