Several teams in the past have made the NCAA tournament with sub-.500 records, but could you imagine a 9-23 team in the Big Dance?
The Grambling State Tigers are still holding out hope for a tournament bid after an atrocious regular season that ended with a record of 4-23, but it will not come easy, as the Tigers will have to run the table in the Southwestern Athletic Conference to earn an invitation to the Dance. While the Tigers’ chances of lifting the SWAC championship trophy are slim to none, Grambling State shocked the world in the opening round of the tournament, where the team refused to roll over, claiming its first victim.
Grambling State will need to win more games in the conference tournament than all season to punch its ticket to the Big Dance. However, the Tigers took the first step to achieve this seemingly insurmountable task on Tuesday when they defeated the Tigers of Jackson State 84-75 in the first round of the SWAC conference tournament. Chandler Thomas rallied the Tigers to victory with 20 points and 14 rebounds in a double-double effort that led to the first shocking result in championship week, with the Tigers hoping that there is more luck left to be found.
Although the Tigers are just a measly 3-15 in conference play this season, the matchup in the second round of the tournament is actually a decent one for Grambling State. In the two regular season matchups with the Texas Southern Tigers, Grambling State only lost by a combined five points.
There have been miraculous runs through championship week in the past, but if the Grambling State Tigers somehow overcome the odds and win the SWAC championship, it might just go down as the most impressive run in the history of college basketball.
Greg Douglas is a College Basketball writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on twitter @thegpd93 or add him to your Google Network.