March Madness is near but before the NCAA tournament, the Mid Eastern Atlantic Conference tournament has to take place to see who will get the at-large bid for the NCAA tournament. These four teams are in the proverbial driver seat to win the MEAC crown and for good reason too.
Can Wildcats maintain high-octane offense during postseason?
No.1 Bethune Cookman (BCU)
BCU (23-5, 15-1) ended up being the one seed by doing what they do best and that is score, a lot. Currently riding a 15-game winning streak, the team has scored 70 or more points nine times during the streak and had two other games where they scored 69 and 68 points respectively within the streak. They are also winning games by an average margin of 14.5 points per game behind leading scorer Amya Scott who averaged 13.1 points per game. The Wildcats lead the MEAC in scoring, scoring margin and field goal percentage. The Wildcats did receive a first-round bye as a result of their stellar record.
Can Player of the Year Hicks lead Norfolk State to title?
No. 2 Norfolk State (NSU)
NSU (18-11, 12-4) claimed the second seed of the tournament. Going 6-4 over their last 10 games, prior to that the Spartans were winners of six straight. The Spartans go into the tournament as the conference leaders in steals, averaging 12.1 steals per game behind senior Chanette Hicks who leads the conference in steals with 4.9 steals per game and in points at 20.1 points per game. Hicks was recently named MEAC Player of the Year and MEAC Defensive Player of the Year. NSU is going to need the best player in the conference to play like it if they want any chance at the conference championship.
Can Morgan State still prove doubters wrong?
Morgan State (MSU)
MSU’s (16-13, 12-4) claim to the third seed was forcing turnovers on the defensive end and getting to and converting free throws from the charity stripe. The Bears lead the conference in free throw shooting percentage (.686) and in turnover margin (+7) and are second in steals behind NSU with 11.1 steals per game. The conference’s second leading scorer and leading rebounder Chelsea Mitchell (15.5 points per game and 9.7 rebounds per game) was also named to the All-MEAC first-team. MSU ranks fourth in holding opponents to .274 % from three-point land. field goal defensive percentage. The Bears do have the coach who can lead the Bears to the title in MEAC Coach of the Year Ed Davis Jr., who proved naysayers wrong when they were picked to finish seventh in the MEAC standings per meacsports.com
Can balanced N.C. A&T do enough on both sides of the ball to win?
North Carolina A&T (N.C. A&T)
Despite finishing as the fourth seed N.C. A&T (19-9, 11-5) leads the conference in scoring defense limiting their opponents to 56.8 points per game, rebounding margin (+6) and assists per game with 14.1. The Aggies are no ordiinary No. 4 seed though, they hold the second best overall record at 19-9 in the conference and will not be an easy out for any team. They too have All-MEAC players in senior guard Cinia McCray (second-team) and junior forward Deja Winters (third-team). The Aggies have won seven of their last 10 but two of those losses came to No. 5 seed N.C. Central who they will play in the first round of the tournament.
All stats are courtesy of meacsports.com.