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Your MEAC conference play study guide

MEAC Madness is starting Be prepared.

NCAA Basketball: MEAC Tournament-Norfolk State vs North Carolina Central Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

The College Basketball season has been in full swing for many weeks now. But for some mid-major conferences, conference play is the real season. With many leagues sending only one team to the NCAA Tournament, what happens between early January and mid-March means the most.

It sounds like madness and for the MEAC, it’s MEAC Madness. Another loaded late of conference games has arrived.

Here’s what you need to know as MEAC play kicks off.

Offseason recap and news

  • Last season, Norfolk State won the regular season title. North Carolina Central crushed their dreams in the MEAC Tournament finals. It marked NC Central’s third-straight NCAA tournament bid.
  • Out of current members, the last team besides NC Central win the MEAC qualifier was North Carolina A&T in 2013. Former MEAC member Hampton won in 2015 and 2016.
  • Savannah State bode farewell to the MEAC, returning to Division II. This departure drops to MEAC to 11 members. Due to this, each team will play six opponents twice and four opponents once during conference play.
  • There are three new head coaches in the conference: Howard hired Kevin Blakeney from Columbia, Morgan State hired Kevin Broadus from Maryland, and Maryland Eastern-Shore hired Jason Crafton from the G-League.
  • Bethune-Cookman senior forward Cletrell Pope was named MEAC Pre-Season Player of the Year. Joining Pope on the Preseason All-MEAC First Team are Howard’s Charles Williams, South Carolina State’s Damani Applewhite, Coppin State’s Dejuan Clayton and Pope’s teammate Malik Maitland.
  • North Carolina Central was predicted to win the conference this season. The Eagles are looking for their fourth straight MEAC title. This feat has not been accomplished since North Carolina A&T did so in the late 80s.

2019-20 Predicted order of finish

1. NC Central
2. Bethune-Cookman
3. Norfolk State
4. North Carolina A&T
5. South Carolina State
6. Howard
7. Coppin State
8. Morgan State
9. Florida A&M (ineligible for MEAC title and postseason play)
10. Delaware State
11. Maryland Eastern Shore

Players to watch from each team

Maryland Eastern Shore: Ty Gibson (8.0 PPG, 32 assists this season, Phillip DaShawn (7.2 PPG, 42 rebounds this season)
NC Central: Jibri Blount (18.6 PPG, 87% free throw percentage), Jordan Perkins (5.4 APG, second in minutes played)
Bethune-Cookman: Cletrell Pope (12.9 PPG, 11.7 RPG), Isaiah Bailey (13.9 PPG, 2.9 APG)
Coppin State: Kamar McKnight (15 PPG, 3.5 RPG), Dejuan Clayton (11.7 PPG, 2.0 steals per game)
Morgan State: Stanley Davis (14.2 PPG, 6.0 RPG), Troy Baxter (11.1 PPG, 6.3 RPG)
Florida A&M: MJ Randolph (11.5 PPG, 5 RPG), Rod Melton Jr (11.4 PPG, team leader in three-pointers)
Delaware State: John Crosby (22 PPG, 45% from three-point range), Ameer Bennett (11.8 PPG, 6.8 RPG)
Norfolk State: Jermaine Bishop (12.5 PPG, 3.5 RPG), Steven Whitley (10.8 PPG, team leader in rebounds)
North Carolina A&T: Ronald Jackson (12.7 PPG, 8.4 RPG), Kameron Langley (6.9 PPG, team leader in assists)
South Carolina State: Damani Applewhite (12.3 PPG, 6.3 RPG), Tashombe Riley (9.7 PPG, 52% shooting)
Howard: Charles Williams (18.4 PPG, 4.7 RPG), Wayne Bristol Jr (10.0 PPG, 3.8 RPG)

Notable non-conference performances

Nov. 8: North Carolina A&T 63, Charleston Southern 49

Nov. 12th: Coppin State 76, Loyola Chicago 72

Nov. 12: Ole Miss 68, Norfolk State 55

Nov. 17: Northern Kentucky 82, Coppin State 70

Nov. 17: Morgan State 68, George Washington 64

Nov. 22: Northwestern 70, Norfolk State 59

Nov. 22: North Carolina A&T 66, Nicholls State 54

Nov. 23: Coppin State 68, Cornell 66

Nov. 23: Bethune-Cookman 66, Eastern Illinois 63

Nov. 24: Eastern Michigan 58, North Carolina A&T 54

Nov. 24: Evansville 115, Morgan State 112

Dec. 1: Georgia Tech 68, Bethune-Cookman 65

Dec. 3: Coppin State 85, East Carolina 75

Dec. 4: Loyola (MD) 84, Delaware State 76

Dec. 5: Howard 94, Hampton 91

Dec. 20: Norfolk State 72, Bowling Green 67

Dec. 22: Harvard 60, Howard 55

Dec. 29: Saint Louis 77, Bethune-Cookman 67

Dec. 31: Florida A&M 70, Iowa State 68

Dec. 31: South Carolina State 58, Jacksonville 52

How to watch

With a mixture of ESPN3, FloSports and ESPNU, it’s easier to keep up with the MEAC this season.

ESPNU streaming schedule

Monday, Jan. 27: Florida A&M at Norfolk State, 7 p.m.

Monday, Feb. 3: Norfolk State at North Carolina Central, 7 p.m.

Monday, Feb. 17: North Carolina Central at North Carolina A&T State, 7 p.m.

Thursday, March 5: North Carolina A&T State at North Carolina Central, 7 p.m.

FloSports streaming schedule

Jan. 11: Norfolk State at Howard

Jan. 20: North Carolina A&T State at Morgan State

Jan. 25: Bethune-Cookman at North Carolina A&T State

Jan. 27: Howard at Coppin State

Feb. 1: Morgan State at Howard

Feb. 1: South Carolina State at North Carolina Central

Feb. 1: Bethune-Cookman at Florida A&M

Feb. 8: North Carolina Central at Coppin State

Feb. 10: North Carolina Central at Morgan State

Feb. 29: Coppin State at Morgan State

March 2: Bethune-Cookman at North Carolina Central

March 5: Norfolk State at Morgan State

This week’s games

All times eastern

Monday, Jan. 6

S.C. State at Morgan State 7:30 p.m.

Bethune-Cookman at Howard 7:30 p.m.

Norfolk State at Coppin State 7:30 p.m.

North Carolina A&T at Florida A&M, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 11

North Carolina Central at Delaware State, 2 p.m.

Coppin State at Bethune-Cookman, 4 p.m.

Morgan State at Florida A&M, 4 p.m.

Norfolk State at Howard, 4 p.m.

North Carolina A&T at Maryland-Eastern Shore, 4 p.m.