Saturday, March 4, 2017

Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament preview

This is part 14 of a 32-part series previewing every conference tournament in the country.  We'll detail what you need to keep track of in each tournament and the various stakes for each team.

The standings:
North Carolina Central 13-3
Norfolk St 12-4
Morgan St 11-5
Hampton 11-5
Savannah St 10-6
UMES 10-6
Coppin St 7-9
South Carolina St 7-9
Delaware St 7-9
Bethune Cookman 6-10
Florida A&M 5-11
Howard 5-11
North Carolina A&T 1-15

Tournament format:
They're playing in Norfolk across 6 days.  12 of the 13 teams are here (Savannah St got APR'd).  1st round Monday/Tuesday March 6/7; quarterfinals 8th and 9th, semis 10th, finals 11th.  Reallllly slow burn.  Of course, they're sharing venues with the ladies.

The matchups:
1) North Carolina Central vs. 8/9) Delaware St/Bethune-Cookman
4) Hampton vs. 5/12) UMES/North Carolina A&T
3) Morgan St vs. 6/11) Coppin St/Howard
2) Norfolk St vs. 7/10) South Carolina St/Florida A&M

The stakes:
Um.  MEAC is 32 of 32 conferences.  The SWAC beat them this year!  No one is below RPI 200.  I've ranked NCCU as 67th or 68th for awhile now.  Whoever wins is going to Dayton.  Well, if enough upsets happen everywhere and 4 really bad teams win conference tourneys elsewhere, the committee could elevate NCCU.

Norfolk St needs to win once to clinch a .500 record and a probable CIT berth...Morgan St and Hampton need to get to the finals to do that.  Yippee.

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