MEAC Tournament Preview and Predictions

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MEAC Tournament
Photo Credit: North Carolina A&T Athletics

March Madness is here! Today, a few of our writers will be giving their thoughts on the MEAC Tournament.

Writers:

Aram Cannuscio

Pat McMahon

TJ Oxley

 

Full Bracket:

1st Round:

#8 Delaware St vs. #9 Maryland E-Shore

#7 SC State vs #10 Howard

2nd Round:

#1 NC Central vs. #8 Delaware St/#9 Maryland E-Shore

#4 Bethune-Cookman vs. #5 Morgan State

#2 NC A&T vs. #7 SC State/#10 Howard

#3 Norfolk State vs. #7 Coppin State

Who will win the MEAC Tournament?

Aram: #4 Bethune-Cookman (16-14, 10-6 in the MEAC)

They may be 4th in the Conference, but they can play anyone tough. They just barely lost to top seeded NC Central last week on the road in OT. Three of their last four games have actually gone to OT. They keep games close, play tough, and then can rely on Isaiah Bailey and Cletrell Pope (who averages just about 14 points and 12 boards) when needed.

Pat: #3 Norfolk State (16-15, 12-4 in the MEAC)

The Spartans have a big advantage in this tournament essentially playing at home in Norfolk. They ended the season on a strong note with three straight victories, and I expect them to carry that momentum throughout this tournament.

TJ: #1 NC Central (17-13, 13-3 in the MEAC)

I’m taking the #1 seed North Carolina Central to come out on top of the MEAC. The Eagles are 13-3 in conference and have won their last five. 6’7 Junior Jibri Blount averages 19 PPG and 9 RPG on 53% shooting from the field. Coach LeVelle Moton has had his North Carolina Central teams go to four NCAA tournaments, including an active streak of three in a row. The Eagles have seemed to have hit their stride in conference play and should be looking to get back to the tourney for the fourth time in a row.

Which team is a Dark Horse Candidate to take home the title?

Aram: #4 Bethune-Cookman (16-14, 10-6 in the MEAC)

The team that is my champion pick, is also my Dark Horse. They aren’t predicted to win this and have to face NC Central in the Semifinals if they can even get by a tough Morgan State squad. Still, I believe in Bethune-Cookman this year.

Pat: #4 Bethune-Cookman (16-14, 10-6 in the MEAC)

The conference is pretty top heavy, but I wouldn’t count out the 4th seeded Wildcats if they get rolling. With a win over 2nd seed NC A&T and a close loss to top seeded NC Central just last week, they’re capable of pulling off some upsets.

TJ: #5 Morgan State (15-16, 9-7 in the MEAC)

Can you guess how many MEAC teams have a winning record on the road? The answer is none which is wild. Can you guess the one team that is .500 on the road? That team is Morgan State. The Bears possess a 9-7 conference record and are the current 5 seed in the tournament scheduled to play Bethune-Cookman in the quarter finals They are a deep team that has the capability of having a few players in double digits. The Bears are led by guards Stanley Davis, Sherwyn Devonish-Prince Jr, and forward Troy Baxter Jr.

Who is one player that NBA teams should keep an eye on?

Aram: Troy Baxter Jr., Junior F – Morgan State

I 1000% buy his athleticism. Not sure if people remember the poster he had last year for Florida Gulf Coast, but it was absolutely jaw dropping (Watch it here). Baxter has jumped from UNLV to FGCU and now to Morgan State. He hasn’t been able to fully put it together, but this Tournament is another opportunity for him to show scouts that he is more than an emphatic dunker.

Pat: Kameron Langley, Junior G – NC A&T Aggies

The junior point guard has had a great year distributing the ball, averaging 7.7 assists per game, good for third best in the country. The pass first point guard can also rebound well and has a very high steal rate. He really needs to improve his jump shot to get more serious pro looks, but Langley has a lot of other impressive tools to work with.

TJ: Brendan Medley-Bacon, Sophomore C – Coppin State

Coppin State big man Brendan Medley-Bacon. BMB stands at 7’1 weighing 245 lbs and is only a sophomore. The Bald Eagle big has averaged over 2 blocks a game showing signs of being a rim protector. Medley-Bacon moves fairly well and has decent touch. He is averaging 7.5 points, 8.9 rebounds on 45% shooting.

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