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Ineligible SWAC teams value competing in conference tourney despite no chance for NCAA berth

All season Antwan Scott and the Grambling State Tigers didn't think they'd get to compete in the Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament.

But there they were this week playing on the court the Houston Rockets call home and even pulling off an upset in the first round. All of it thanks to a recent rule change that allowed teams ineligible for the NCAA tournament because of Academic Progress Rates restrictions to be part of the league tournament for the first time.

Grambling, Mississippi Valley State, Southern and Arkansas-Pine Bluff are the ineligible schools allowed to compete in the tournament. The winners of the men's and women's tournaments would normally get automatic berths into the NCAA tournament. This year, the eligible teams with the best tournament finish will receive the bids.