Among the many beautiful things about March Madness is the notion that any team can make it. Every conference gets one automatic bid for the NCAA Tournament. Most automatic bids are awarded to the winner of each respective conference tournament. Each article will preview a different conference tournament with a full bracket breakdown.
N3 – Morgan State def. S2 Florida A&M
N2 Norfolk State def. S3 North Carolina Central
N3 Morgan State def. N1 Coppin State
N2 Norfolk State def. S1 North Carolina A&T
N3 Morgan State def. N2 Norfolk State
Format Note: The MEAC used a two-division split to play their season. Teams were apportioned in the conference tournament based on their finish in either the North or South division.
Just as they were in 2020, the MEAC is the lowest ranked conference by collective RPI. The field is wide open among the six tournament participants which helps each Thursday team. The Morgan State Bears are one of two teams in the MEAC to win more than 60% of their games. Their 12-7 record includes seven wins away from home. The two highest scoring players in conference play are Bears: Troy Baxter Jr. and De’Torrion Ware. The two combine for over 35 points per game on a team that leads the conference in points per game. The competition isn’t stiff enough to scare Morgan State, but winning three games in three days could be daunting.
There are only six teams in this bracket, none of whom are too strong. Both teams with a bye look weaker than lower seeded teams. There are no sleepers to note in this bracket. Morgan State is technically seeded fifth or sixth but has the best overall win percentage in the MEAC.
Matchup to Watch
Norfolk State vs North Carolina Central
Among the minimally intriguing things about the MEAC Tournament, North Carolina Central is in a vulnerable spot. They have won the conference in each of the last four seasons but will be challenged by the Spartans in round one. These teams met in the 2017 and 2019 MEAC finals with the Eagles winning both. Now, Norfolk State possesses the high marks in the conference in three-point percentage and rebounding margin. They also have a conference-best four-game active winning streak. The watchability comes strictly from past success that North Carolina Central has experienced.
Featured Image courtesy of nsuspartans.com
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