We are in the middle of conference tournament season in the world of college basketball. This year has already seen its fair share of upsets, with the most recent being the downfall of Belmont in the Ohio Valley Conference. But we are not even halfway through. There will be no tournaments tipping off for the first time on Saturday, but we will have one new one starting on Sunday.
That conference is the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, better known as the MEAC. This is a conference that saw five teams earn at least 10 wins in conference play. North Carolina Central came out on top as the one seed, but they are far from a lock to win this thing. You cannot count out Norfolk State, Morgan State, Hampton and Savannah State.
The first set of games will be split between Monday, March 6th and Tuesday, March 7th. The tournament will then continue for most of the week. When all is said and done, things will wrap just a day before Selection Sunday. The automatic bid will be handed out following the title game on Saturday, March 11th at 1:00 pm EST. You can check out the seedings and bracket below.
(1) North Carolina Central
(2) Norfolk State
(3) Morgan State
(5) Maryland Eastern Shore
(6) Coppin State
(7) South Carolina State
(8) Delaware State
(10) Florida A&M
(12) North Carolina A&T State
— NSU Athletics (@NSUSpartans) March 3, 2017
We have 12 teams set to go at it with a trip to the NCAA Tournament on the line. We kick things off with Delaware State taking on Bethune-Cookman, with a chance at North Carolina Central on the line. To say these two teams are pretty bad is probably an understatement. There is nothing that really makes them stand out, so I am throwing darts saying Bethune-Cookman comes out on top 73-69. North Carolina Central should then have no issues rolling over them, winning 77-68 to move on.
Next up, Maryland Eastern Shore vs North Carolina A&T State. Like the first game, neither of these teams have much going for them. But in this case, MSE does seem to have a statistical edge. I will take them 76-68 to move on to take on Hampton. Now, I do not love Hampton. They certainly have their flaws. But they still have a slight edge in this one. Give me Hampton to move on, 75-71.
Now we have Coppin State taking on Howard. We are seeing a pattern here, as the bottom of this conference is simply not very good. We have another two clubs who form a battle of two mediocre teams. This one is even harder to pick than the first one. Give me Coppin State by the slightest of margins, 69-68. It’s not just the bottom half that’s bad, as even the three-seeded Morgan State is not very impressive. I really want to pick the upset here, but I simply can’t find a reason to pick Coppin State. So reluctantly, give me Morgan State 71-70.
South Carolina State goes up against Florida A&M to take on Norfolk State to wrap up the bottom of the bracket. Every time I think things cannot get worse, they do. Both teams have over a negative six created possession margin. I’m sorry, but that’s just bad. My coin flip has landed me on South Carolina State, 68-67. They get Norfolk State, who represents my last hope of finding a team I like in this conference. But nope. Their numbers aren’t that great either, But they are good enough to win here, 71-70.
To start off the semis, we have North Carolina State and Hampton. After running through the first set of games, NCC is certainly my top choice moving forward in the MEAC. Their stats are at least average, but not overly impressive. The result, a win here 73-68, but they are not going to be much of a threat in the NCAA Tournament if they can survive one more game.
To close out the semi-finals we have Morgan State and Norfolk State. Honestly not a major fan of either of these teams. Despite both teams being some of the top seeds in this conference, they simply do not have all that impressive numbers across the board. But of the two, I would give the slight edge to Morgan State. I will take them 73-69.
To close things out, I think you know where I am going to go based off of what I said above. I see NCC as an average team, while I am not all that thrilled with Morgan State. So I will take NCC 73-67 to win that automatic bid.
So what do you think? Do you think any teams in this conference stands out? Is the eventually winner going to simply get rolled over in the Big Dance? Tell us what you think in the comments!