MEAC play has been enjoyable this season. We’ve seen a few overtime games, a lot of close finishes, some tense moments, and some great basketball being played. Everyone in the conference knows that this league is not a multiple bid league for the NCAA Tournament. Due to this, the MEAC tournament is the true proving ground. And as the tournament is about two weeks away, let’s see how the bracket is shaping up right now.
- Norfolk State (12-1 MEAC)
- NC A&T (11-3 MEAC)
- NC Central (10-5 MEAC)
- Howard (8-6 MEAC)
- Bethune-Cookman (8-6 MEAC)
- Savannah State (7-7 MEAC)
- Coppin State (6-8 MEAC)
- SC State (5-9 MEAC)
- Morgan State (3-10 MEAC)
- UM Eastern Shore (3-11 MEAC)
- Delaware State (2-11)
One team is missing: Florida A&M.
Due to NCAA APR violations, the Rattlers won’t be eligible for the postseason. What’s sad is that the announcement was made two weeks ago, in the midst of FAMU’s best basketball season in a while. Due to that, the Rattlers are not in the mix. If they were, they’d be around a 4th or 5th seed in the tournament. Therefore, the top 5 seeds in the tourney will get a bye. As of right now, Bethune-Cookman is that team. The current five-team bye structure might be how the conference sets up their Men’s tourney since Savannah State will be leaving the conference this year, leaving the league with 11 teams.
Norfolk State has a major chance to win their first outright MEAC title in a few years. They have to win two more games to secure their top seed. NC A&T and NC Central will be battling as the season ends but it could impact the seeding as well.
Howard, Bethune-Cookman, Savannah State, and Coppin State can all move up or down from their projected standings. BCU and Howard’s spots are critical since they won’t play until Thursday night. For Morgan State, UMES, and Del State; their struggles can land them in the route to facing Norfolk State, NCCU or A&T if they make it past the first round. In terms of seeding changes, the middle of the pack could see the most change within the next week.
First Round | Monday, March 11
Savannah State (No. 6 seed) vs. Delaware State (No. 11 seed), 6 p.m.
First Round | Tuesday, March 12
SC State (No. 8 seed) vs. Morgan State (No. 9 seed), 6 p.m.
Coppin State (No. 7 seed) vs. Maryland Eastern Shore (No. 10 seed), 8:30 p.m.
Quarterfinals | Wednesday, March 13
Norfolk State (No. 1 seed) vs. SC State or Morgan State, 6 p.m.
North Carolina A&T (No. 2 seed) vs. Coppin State or UMES, 8 p.m.*
Quarterfinals | Thursday, March 14 - SESSION 6
NC Central (No. 3 seed) vs. Sav State or Delaware State, 6 p.m.
Bethune-Cookman (No. 4 seed) vs. Howard (No. 5 seed), 8 p.m.*
Semifinals | Friday, March 15
NSU or MSU or SC State vs. BCU or Howard, 6 p.m.
SSU or Del State or NCCU vs. Coppin or UMES or NC A&T, 8 p.m.*
Championship | Saturday, March 16
Game 20: Winner of Semifinal 1 vs. Winner of Semifinal 2, 1 p.m
Regular Season Games Left
Saturday, March 2
South Carolina State at Bethune-Cookman 4 p.m.
Morgan State at Delaware State 4 p.m.
Florida A&M at North Carolina A&T State 4 p.m.
Howard at Savannah State 6 p.m.
Coppin State at Norfolk State 6:30 p.m.
Monday, March 4
Norfolk State at Delaware State 7:30 p.m.
Morgan State at Maryland Eastern Shore 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 7
North Carolina Central at North Carolina A&T State 7:30 p.m.
Coppin State at Morgan State 7:30 p.m.
Delaware State at Maryland Eastern Shore 7:30 p.m.
Florida A&M at Bethune-Cookman 7:30 p.m.
Savannah State at South Carolina State 7:30 p.m.
Howard at Norfolk State 8 p.m.