Where 2012-13 Happens: Reason #19 We Love College Basketball

Posted by rtmsf on October 21st, 2012

And away we go, headfirst into another season heralded by our 2012-13 edition of Thirty Reasons We Love College Basketball, our annual compendium of YouTube clips from the previous season 100% guaranteed to make you wish games were starting tonight. We’ve captured here what we believe were the most compelling moments from last season, some of which will bring back the goosebumps and others of which will leave you shaking your head. Enjoy!

#19 – Where Norfolk Freakin’ State! Happens


We also encourage you to re-visit the entire archive of this feature from the 2008-092009-10, 2010-11, and 2011-12 seasons.

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The Other 26: Bracket Analysis, South and West Regions

Posted by IRenko on March 14th, 2012

I. Renko is an RTC columnist. He will kick off each weekend during the season with his analysis of the 26 other non-power conferences. Follow him on twitter @IRenkoHoops.

Regional Threats

These are the teams that have a credible chance of dancing all the way to the Sweet Sixteen (and maybe beyond).

Joe Ragland Point Guard Play Will be Key to the Shockers' Sweet Sixteen Chances

Wichita State (#5, South) – I’m a great fan of the Shockers, who finished the season atop our TO26 top 15 rankings.  They have a balanced lineup that can do it all.  Inside scoring presence?  Garrett Stutz.  Steady point guard play?  Joe Ragland. Attacking guard?  Toure’ Murry.  Blue-collar enforcer?  Carl Hall.  Three-point marksmen?  Ragland, Ben Smith, and David Kyles.  And they back it up with a solid, steady defense.  If this team has a weakness, it’s the lack of a single go-to player, which can come in handy in crunch time in March.

The key for the Shockers’ getting to the regionals may be slowing their games into halfcourt contests.  They have a tough first-round draw against VCU and its frenetic defensive style.  It will be a challenge to maintain calm amidst the storm that the Rams will bring – Murry in particular can play undisciplined — but if I had to make a call, I’d say that the Shockers will rise to the challenge and get the ball into the lane, where VCU is vulnerable.  In the next round, Wichita State would likely face an Indiana team with a fast-paced offense, but somewhat softer defense that is susceptible to dribble penetration.  Again, if the Shockers can slow things down and turn it into more of a halfcourt game, they could be on their way to the Sweet Sixteen.

Memphis (#8, West) – No team has a more legitimate grievance about its seed than the Tigers.  They have steadily, but markedly, improved ever since a nearly two-hour closed door team meeting following a loss at Georgetown on December 22.  Few have taken notice because it came mostly against C-USA competition, but during this stretch, the Tigers have gone 19-3, with their three losses coming by a combined total of 6 points.  Oh, and freshman standout Adonis Thomas just returned to the lineup.

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RTC Conference Primers: #30 – MEAC

Posted by rtmsf on October 5th, 2010

RTC is still seeking a MEAC correspondent.  If you are interested in covering this league, email us for further information at rushthecourt@yahoo.com.

Predicted Order of Finish

  1. Morgan State (13-3)
  2. South Carolina State (12-4)
  3. Norfolk State (10-6)
  4. Delaware State (9-7)
  5. Bethune-Cookman (9-7)
  6. Maryland-Eastern Shore (8-8)
  7. Hampton (8-8)
  8. Howard (7-9)
  9. North Carolina A&T (6-10)
  10. Coppin State (4-12)
  11. Florida A&M (2-14)
  12. Savannah State (*provisional member — ineligible for postseason and league awards)
  13. North Carolina Central (*provisional member – ineligible for postseason and league awards)

All-Conference Team

  • CJ Reed (G) — Bethune-Cookman
  • Hillary Haley (G) – Maryland-Eastern Shore
  • DeWayne Jackson (F) — Morgan State
  • Kyle O’Quinn (F) – Norfolk State
  • Kevin Thompson (F) — Morgan State

6th Man

  • Darnell Porter (G) — South Carolina State

Impact Newcomer

  • Dominique Sutton (F) — North Carolina Central.  NCCU isn’t yet playing a complete MEAC schedule nor is it eligible for postseason play this year, but the Eagle program is already making noise on the recruiting trail with the announcement of high-major transfer Sutton returning to Durham to suit up for his hometown team.  As of this writing, the 6’5 junior forward who averaged 7.2 PPG and 5.8 RPG as a full-time starter last season for Kansas State was practicing with the team and awaiting an NCAA decision on whether he can play this season.  He moved back east to be closer to his girlfriend and two daughters in Durham, and the wing player who terrorizes the glass on the offensive end (especially given his size) will automatically become one of the best players in the MEAC as soon as he is eligible.

Bozeman is Building Quite the Program in Baltimore

What You Need To Know

  • All Morgan, All the Time. Todd Bozeman has built a powerhouse in Baltimore to the tune of three straight regular season titles, two straight NCAA bids, and a 46-6 record against MEAC teams the last three seasons.  But like all consistently great programs, Morgan doesn’t re-build anymore as much as re-load.  From Jamar Smith to Marquis Kately to Reggie Holmes to the next generation (Thompson and Jackson), Bozeman continually has high-mid major talent playing for him.  The Bears’ strategy is clear — play a tough non-conference schedule to build up their RPI (beating DePaul, Maryland and Arkansas in recent years), dominate the MEAC, and get back to the NCAA Tournament.  Morgan State earned #15 seeds the last two seasons, but they haven’t yet been matched up against the right team in order to pull off the upset — #2 seeds Oklahoma (2009) and West Virginia (2010) were simply too powerful inside for them to handle.  Could it come this season?

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2009-10 Conference Primers: #31: MEAC

Posted by rtmsf on October 6th, 2009

seasonpreview 09-10

JC of HBCUSportsBlog is the RTC correspondent for the MEAC and SWAC conferences.  Click here for all of our 2009-10 Season Preview materials.

Predicted Order of Finish:

  1. Morgan State (22-9)
  2. North Carolina A&T (17-14)
  3. South Carolina State (16-12)
  4. Coppin State (14-13)
  5. Bethune-Cookman (14-16)
  6. Hampton (12-18)
  7. Delaware State (10-17)
  8. Norfolk State (9-19)
  9. Florida A&M (9-16)
  10. Howard (4-23)
  11. Winston-Salem State (4-26)
  12. UMES (3-27)

All-Conference Team:

  • Tavarus Alston (G) – North Carolina A&T – Should lead the MEAC in assists this season, and could be a scoring threat as well.
  • Reggie Holmes (G) – Morgan State – 3rd leading scorer and leading 3pt shooter in the MEAC in 08 will expand his role in 09.
  • Jason Flagler (F) – South Carolina State – Dynamic scorer is SC State’s best chance at post-season success.
  • Neal Pitt (F) – UMES– Tenacious rebounder and defensive force under the basket will lead conference in glass cleaning for second straight season.
  • Kevin Thompson (C) – Morgan State – Could emerge as a secondary scoring option in the low post, and will fill role as interior stopper.
  • Alexander Starling (6th Man, F) – Bethune-Cookman –Versatile forward is Bethune-Cookman’s primary scoring option.

MEAC_logo

What You Need to Know.  The MEAC is a mid-major conference that, while among the lowest rated in RPI, is among the more recognized brands in college basketball outside of power conference competition. The MEAC champion has won three first-round tournament games in the last 20 years, and has produced tough out of conference wins over quality competition in the last three years. (Morgan State defeating Maryland, Hampton defeating George Mason in 2008)

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2008-09 Conference Primers: #30 – MEAC

Posted by rtmsf on October 7th, 2008

JC of HBCUSportsBlog is the RTC correspondent for the SWAC and MEAC conferences. 

Predicted order of finish:

  1. Morgan State University  (22-11) (14-2)   
  2. Hampton University  (18-12) (11-5)   
  3. Norfolk State University  (16-15) (11-5)  
  4. Delaware State University  (14-16) (10-6) 
  5. N.C. A&T State University  (15-16) (9-7)   
  6. Florida A&M University  (15-17) (9-7)   
  7. Coppin State University  (16-21) (7-9)   
  8. South Carolina State University   (13-20) (7-9)     
  9. Bethune-Cookman University  (11-21) (5-11)  
  10. Howard University  (6-26) (3-13)  
  11. Maryland - Eastern Shore  (4-28) (2-14) 

MEAC Logo

What You Need to Know (WYN2K). The MEAC is not a conference you want to sleep on this year. Two teams from the conference earned automatic bids to postseason play last year, with the conference champion Coppin State Eagles making it to the play-in game of the Big Dance, and regular-season MEAC champion Morgan State appearing in the NIT. With a loaded stock of Division I transfers across the board, in-conference parity and out-of-conference guaranteed games against power-conference opponents, the MEAC will be among the toughest mid-major conferences in the country this season.

Predicted Champion. Morgan State (#16 Seed NCAA).  While the MEAC is usually relegated to play-in purgatory (four of the last five years), the Morgan State Bears could reverse the 16-seed blues this season. In several mid-major polls last season, the Bears were ranked in the Top 25 as a result of strong showings against the Big East (4-pt loss at UConn) and ACC (4-pt loss at Miami). Todd Bozeman is the reigning MEAC Coach of the Year, and returns two key starters in All-MEAC forward Marquise Kately and sharpshooting guard Reggie Holmes.

Others Considered. Norfolk State could surprise many in the conference this season. An early season road victory against the Richmond Spiders last year served notice of their depth and offensive talent, and they have several seniors returning. Despite the transfer of forward Matt Pilgrim, Hampton is also a team to watch because of forward Theo Smalling, who will likely be among the conference leaders in rebounding and minutes played this season.

Games to Watch. The MEAC doesn’t have many games with national intrigue, but in conference, these contests will be a litmus test for post-season mettle.

  • Morgan State vs. Coppin State (12.6.08) – In the first game since the Eagles defeated the Bears to capture the conference championship and advance to the NCAA Tournament, the intensity of this Charm City rivalry will heighten one of Baltimore’s signature athletic contests.
  • Hampton vs. Virginia Commonwealth (12.27.08) - Could be a bracket-busting test for an NCAA tournament-tested program in VCU. A win for the Pirates contributes to state bragging rights and boosts recruiting efforts at home.

RPI Booster Games. Several MEAC teams are participating in tournaments and classics, which present the best opportunities for upset wins.

  • Hampton @ Virginia (12.23.08)
  • Morgan State @ Utah (Glen Wilkes Classic) (11.22.08)
  • NC A&T @ Akron (12.13.08)

Odds of Multiple NCAA Bids. Nah.

Neat-o Stat. Of the top ten individual scoring leaders in the MEAC last year, only Howard’s Eugene Myatt will be playing this season. Morgan’s Jamar Smith, Coppin State’s Tywain McKee, Bethune-Cookman’s Dewayne Pettus, and Delaware State’s Roy Bright were all seniors, while UMES’ Ed Tyson is academically ineligible for his senior season.

65-Team Era. The MEAC is responsible for two of the only four #15 over #2 seed wins in history,  #15 Hampton over #2 Iowa St. in 2002, and #15 Coppin St. over #2 South Carolina in 1997.  The only other win of the era was in 2004 in the PiG over Lehigh. 

Final Thought. At least the MEAC isn’t the SWAC, right?

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