Mike Davis had a difficult tenure at UAB, winning 20 games in 4 of his 6 seasons there, but making the NCAA Tournament just once. He is off to a good start on his quest to turn around a Texas Southern program that has not made the NCAA Tournament since 2003, however.
Davis took over the program, besieged by problems, including a terrible APR, banning them from the 2013 postseason, and went out and won the SWAC, going 16-2 in conference play. Because of that, and the improvement in the program's APR score, Davis was given a two year contract extension, now running through 2018.
Texas Southern was not just a small conference mirage last year either, despite going only 1-12 in non conference play. They took Colorado to double overtime and lost by only 9 to Kansas State. By the end of the season they had gotten their KenPom ranking up into the top 150. Furthermore, the Tigers play in a way that is sure to scare their first round opponent once they do make a return to the big dance. They don't play very fast, a tick below average, meaning there are fewer chances for a more talented team to pull away, and they took over 44% of their field goals from behind the arc last year, making 35.6% of them. Because of the sheer volume of threes they take, a hot day from beyond the arc (like, say, the SWAC champ shooting 10-23 from three against a 1 seed this year) and they can put a scare into a team in the first round.
In any event, the SWAC has long been a forgotten and disadvantaged conference in college basketball, but hopefully Southern's effort this year in the first round coupled with an emerging Texas Southern program will help raise the profile of the entire league.