BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) _ Tobarie Burton and Alabama State are finally on the way to the NCAA Tournament. Joey Ball scored 14 points and Tyrone Levett added 12 as the Hornets beat Alcorn State 64-52 Saturday in the championship game of the Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament to earn its first trip to the NCAA Tournament. ``It seemed like something that took forever,'' said Burton, a senior guard who enjoyed his first winning season at Alabama State. ``When I came, it seemed like the program was on shaky ground but now I'm leaving as SWAC champion.'' Alabama State (22-8), the SWAC regular-season champion, trailed 36-28 at halftime and faced a 13-point deficit with 15:25 remaining. Alcorn St. (15-15) was seeking its sixth NCAA Tournament appearance under 71-year-old coach Davey Whitney, who has won 10 SWAC regular-season titles. With an NCAA Tournament berth secured, Alabama State coach Rob Spivery hopes the Hornets can avoid the tournament's play-in game Tuesday in Dayton, Ohio. ``We won the regular season and tournament championships and I hope the selection committee would take that into consideration,'' Spivery said. After three years of missing the tournament, Burton is ready to keep playing, even if it means going to Dayton. ``I won't be disappointed. It'll just be another game that we have to come out and prove ourselves,'' Burton said. Alcorn State went on a 5-0 run in the first 5 minutes of the second half, but managed just one field goal in the next 12 minutes. Burton scored 11 and Alvin Pettway 10 for Alabama State. Justin Shelwood and Walter Harper each scored 11 for the Braves.