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North Carolina A&T Goes From No. 7 to No. 1 in MEAC With Win Over Morgan State

North Carolina A&T was the No. 7 seed in the MEAC Tournament. They will be hanging a banner come next season though as the conference tournament champions, and the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

The MEAC tournament gave new meaning to March Madness. After a first round that saw all of the favored seeds advance, all four of those same teams advanced in the quarterfinal round. That left a semifinal of seeds five through eight.

No more Norfolk State -- undefeated during its regular season run to the title -- who will be heading to the NIT. No more North Carolina Central, my pick for the NCAA Tournament berth with a week remaining in the season.

No, the best team left was 10-6 in the regular season, Morgan State. And the Bears managed to get to get to the final.

But they lost to North Carolina A&T, the team that knocked off our pick, and the No. 7 seed in the conference tournament.

Needless to say, the Aggies should be headed to Dayton for a First Four matchup, most likely with Big South upset winner (and under .500) Liberty.

Adrian Powell led NCA&T with 14 points and three steals in the 57-54 win. Regular season leader Lamont Middleton had 13 points, and Austin Witter added 11 points, nine rebounds and five steals.

Dewayne Jackson was the sole Bear in double figures, scoring 20 points and grabbing seven rebounds.

What really did in the Bears was their free throw shooting. They shot just 40 percent from the stripe, although that wasn't that much worse than the Aggies. But in a game that comes down to a single shot and single possession, you can't afford to give away free baskets, no, not 12 of them.