Despite a 74-73 loss Monday to Savannah State and being the first Division-I school to fall to rival North Carolina A&T Aggies (3-28, 1-15) this season, the NC Central Eagles (22-8, 13-3) captured the top overall seed in the MEAC tournament and the MEAC regular season title as well. The Eagles appeared to have full control of the league, running off 13 straight victories before last night’s loss, but the league was competitive throughout the season.
The Morgan State Bears (14-15, 11-5) and Norfolk State Spartans (15-15, 12-4) were within a game of the top spot heading into the final week of regular season play. Morgan State fell to Maryland Eastern Shore 67-66 on Thursday, which placed the Bears as the 3-seed.
Entering the final night, three teams had already solidified their tournament seed. The reigning champion Hampton Pirates (14-15, 11-5) earned the fourth seed. The Pirates went 10-6 in conference play on the backs of their youth who had huge shoes to fill from last years very polished senior class. The only other team to know their seed going into last night was North Carolina A&T as they claimed the 12-seed.
Final matchups for the 44th MEAC Tournament were determined last night as many teams jockeyed to boost their seed. The bottom tier teams showed there will be no easy out in tournament play, as indicated with the closure of the regular season. The middle tier has just as much opportunity, talent, and skill level to contend for the title. The Coppin State Eagles (8-23, 7-9) and South Carolina State Bulldogs (10-19, 7-9) have all played tough in every game and could be poised to knock off a top seed early,
The Delaware State Hornets (10-21, 7-9) are more than capable of an upset as they hold road wins at NC Central as well as Morgan State. Also, Maryland Eastern Shore is coming in hot as they closed out its regular season with a home victory against Morgan State.
Here is the full bracket: