While they weren't the top teams in the regular season, the #6 seed Grambling State Tigers and #4 seed Alabama State Hornets were probably the hottest teams heading into the SWAC tournament, and both teams kept that momentum going. Alabama State knocked off in-state rivals Alabama A&M and #1 seed Texas Southern to get to the championship game, while Grambling knocked off both #3 Mississippi Valley State and #2 Jackson State. With two teams playing such good basketball, the championship game figured to be a hard-fought, competitive contest. And for 20 minutes, it was exactly that.
For the last 20 minutes, the game was a laugher.
It was the Tigers who took a 28-26 edge into halftime, after a half in which neither team was ever able to create any significant separation on the scoreboard. After the break, Alabama State wasted no time, opening the half on a 28-4 run, and removing all doubt concerning which school would represent the SWAC in the NCAA tournament. When the final buzzer sounded, all the drama had been removed from a 65-48 Alabama State victory.
Using their typically deep bench, 14 different Hornets saw the floor, and seven contributed between five and 14 points. Tramayne Moorer led the team with those 14 points, to go with 8 rebounds. Tramaine Butler chipped in with 13 points and 6 boards. Alabama State played a very fundamentally sound game, committing just six team turnovers.
Grambling State's leading scorer on the year, forward Justin Patton, struggled to find the hoop, shooting just 4-of-16 from the floor.
Alabama State improves to 17-17 on the year, and heads to an all-but-certain date with the "First Four" play-in round of the NCAA tournament.