2021 Cricket Wireless SWAC Basketball Tournament

In an unprecedented move, the SWAC and Pac-12 conferences have announced a basketball partnership beginning next year which will include a slate of six home-and-home games between member schools of both leagues.

Another slate of games will be scheduled for the following two years.

Locally, Texas Southern men will play Arizona State and Prairie View will take on Washington State in a two-year home-and-home series that will take place in 2022 and 2023. The women’s programs will also participate in the partnership but their games and dates will be announced at a later date.

“I think it is a really good thing for our University and Conference,” Prairie View coach Byron Scott to The Defender. “It’s always a good thing when you can compete against one of the premier conferences in the country. Hats off to our leadership group of our conference, and specifically Commissioner Dr. Charles McClelland.”

Prairie View A&M coach Byron Smith against Wisconsin during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016, in Madison, Wis. Wisconsin won 95-50. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)

While the games will garner the most attention, this partnership is about much more than basketball. The student-athletes from both conferences will take part in discussions dealing with the issues of anti-racism and social justice.

The programming for the student-athletes will be a collaboration between campus leadership from the participating schools. Additionally, the athletic directors and their administrative staff from each participating institution will take part in private meetings as part of the competitions.

“The Southwestern Athletic Conference is extremely excited to partner with the Pac-12 for what we truly feel will be a remarkable experience for our student-athletes and 12 member institutions,” said SWAC Commissioner Dr. Charles McClelland. “This is a game-changer and the opportunity for a collaboration of this significant magnitude has never occurred in the history of HBCU Athletics. 

“We applaud the Pac-12 and its leadership for having the foresight and vision to put this historical initiative together. The Pac-12 has shown a steadfast commitment towards playing an active role in diversity initiatives and impactful collaborations with HBCUs and this partnership is a win-win for both conferences as our respective missions are closely aligned. The Pac-12 and the SWAC are united in our efforts to expand the positive impact of the game of basketball well beyond the court. We’re excited to get this new venture started and truly feel the best is yet to come.”

As part of the scheduling alliance, programs from each conference will participate in two-year home-and-home series over the course of four years from the 2022-23 to 2025-26 seasons. Six programs from each conference will participate in the 2022-23/2023-24 series, followed by the remaining six programs in 2024-25/2025-26.

Here is a look at the initial men’s matchups released for the first two years. The additional series between remaining men’s programs for 2024-25/2025-26, as well as dates and matchups for women’s programs, will be announced at a later date.