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Can Texas Southern Continue Improbable Tournament Run?

On January 15, Texas Southern lost to Grambling to drop to 3-15 on the season. Tigers fans could not have predicted what happened next. Texas Southern went on to win 12 of its next 16 games and ultimately claim the SWAC championship for the third time in four seasons. Now, the Tigers will look to win just their second NCAA Tournament game in program history when they take on NC Central in their First Four matchup Wednesday.

  • Texas Southern is 0-11 SU in its last 11 games against teams with winning records.
  • NC Central is 4-0 ATS in its last 4 games.
  • The total has gone UNDER in NC Central’s last 5 games as underdog.

Texas Southern has gone on this improbable run thanks to the offensive contributions of Demontrae Jefferson, Donte Clark and Derrick Bruce. The trio of guards is averaging a combined 54.9 points, 12.1 rebounds and 9.0 assists per game on the season thanks to their aggressive, driving style of play. You should expect that to continue against NC Central, as the Eagles record 19.5 personal fouls per game (260th in the nation).

Much like Texas Southern, NC Central got hot at the right time with wins in seven of its last nine games en route to a MEAC tournament victory. Unlike last season when the team made the First Four thanks to its offensively gifted seniors, NC Central has gotten this far this year thanks to defense. The Eagles held seven of their last nine opponents to 70 points or less. The big men of NC Central will need to play clean defense against the hard-charging guards of Texas Southern, as foul troubles would see the Eagles’ best players on the bench.

Texas Southern Tigers vs North Carolina Central Eagles Matchup

Team Betting Records & Power Rankings

The North Carolina Central Eagles are 19-15 so far on the season, and 11-4 vs the number. The Texas Southern Tigers, meanwhile, are 15-19 and 10-4 ATS. OVER/UNDER bettors have seen North Carolina Central go 6-9 and Texas Southern go 10-4 on betting totals.

The Power Rankings at OddsShark show No. 238-rated Texas Southern taking on No. 80-rated North Carolina Central in this contest.

Recent Outings Betting Recap

The Tigers got 17 points from Trayvon Reed as Texas Southern ran past Arkansas-Pine Bluff 84-69 on Saturday at Delmar Fieldhouse.

The Eagles grabbed a 71-63 win over the Pirates on Saturday, behind a 22-point effort from Pablo Rivas at Norfolk Scope Arena.