Men earn first March Madness trip ever; Lady Tigers grab WNIT berth


By Josh Edler, Gramblinite Editor

Grambling State University’s basketball teams will represent “The G” on a national level this week after making a little March Madness history over the weekend.

On Saturday, at the Southwestern Athletic Conference Basketball Tournament in Birmingham, Alabama, the Tigers captured their first SWAC championship since 1976, earning their first trip ever to the Division I NCAA basketball tournament.

The Lady Tigers lost in the semifinals of the SWAC Tournament on Friday, but their 22-9 overall record was good enough to be invited to the Women’s National Invitational Tournament. 

GSU’s Lady Tigers will face off against Oral Roberts in Tulsa, Oklahoma with tip-off set for 7 p.m. Thursday in the first round of the WNIT.

This was the first season under head coach Courtney Simmons, and the first 20-win season for The Lady Tigers since the 2002-2003 season.

The Tigers finished with the best regular season record in the conference and secured the top seed heading into the SWAC tournament. Grambling State defeated Texas Southern University 75-66 in the SWAC Championship to secure an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. 

Jourdan Smith scored 20 points to lead the Tigers to victory.

GSU’s Tra’Michael Moton was named MVP of the SWAC tournament alongside G-Man Kintavious Dozier who was named to the All-Tournament team. Dozier was also named to All-SWAC First Team and Head Coach Donte Jackson was named SWAC Coach of the Year.

The Tigers will face off against Montana State with tip-off set for 5:40 p.m+. Wednesday in First Four action of the NCAA Tournament.