In the Mid Eastern Athletic Conference Men’s basketball has been fast and furious all year. The MEAC has seen teams rise to national prominence and set national records. The top teams all year have been North Carolina Central and Norfolk state who were in the running for the regular season title. Maryland Eastern Shore and Howard lead the top of the second tier of teams.
In basketball any team can win any time two teams step onto the court, but this year it has been and will be a two team race to determine who gets the automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament from the MEAC. Those two teams are Norfolk State University and North Carolina Central University.
Norfolk State, the last HBCU to win a NCAA tournament game, has been impressive all year posting an overall record of 18-11 while going 11-3 in the MEAC. Out of their three conference losses two came in close games against NCCU and Morgan State, while one loss was a drubbing by a talented UMES team.
NSU has been shooting almost 50% from the field combined with holding their opponents to a 40% rate. This tough defense has been able to hold opponents to an average of 66 points per game and bolstered the Spartans to an almost 5 point scoring margin.
The biggest flaw with this team are that they turn the ball over too often. The Spartans average 14 turnovers per game which is around two more than they force from their opponents. Additionally they only average around 14 assist per contest which lends to a one to one assist turnover ratio, which might end up costing them.
North Carolina Central University (21-6, 13-0 MEAC) has dominated the MEAC long and far before this season tipped off. The last time the Eagles lost to a conference opponent, including the MEAC tournament, was January 11th. Of 2014. Over a year later and NCCU has still managed to foil all challengers of their dominance for a string of 31 straight conference victories and counting.
North Carolina Central should handily win the MEAC tourney averaging 14 more points than their opponents with one of the nation’s top ranked defenses. With a low turnover total and a plus four rebound margin, the Eagles have been unbeatable and should continue their dominance into the post season.
The Eagles are easily the best team in the MEAC and should have no problem repeating as champions. Though if a team is to serve as David and knock off this Goliath of a team it wouldn’t be a surprise if Norfolk State or UMES were to spoil NCCU’s attempt to get to the Big Dance.