NORFOLK, Va. (MEAC Sports) – The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) has released its men’s pairings for the 2018 MEAC Basketball Tournament, March 5-10, at the Scope Arena in Norfolk.
The Pirates of Hampton University (12-and-4 MEAC) enter as the No. 1 seed for the second time in three years as they won a three-team tiebreaker over Co-champions Bethune-Cookman and Savannah State.
The Pirates have earned a first-round bye and will open tournament play on Wednesday, March 7 at 6 p.m. versus the winner of the No. 8 Howard/No. 9 Florida A&M contest which takes place on Tuesday, March 6 at 4 p.m. Hampton finished with a share of the regular season championship as they claimed the top seed and MEAC’s NIT berth by virtue of holding the best head-to-head record and winning percentage against Bethune-Cookman and Savannah State.
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For the first time since 2013, all MEAC men’s basketball teams will be in attendance as No. 4 North Carolina A&T State takes on No. 13 Delaware State at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, March 5 to open men’s play. Norfolk State (No. 5) and Maryland Eastern Shore (No. 12) concludes the first day of competition as they’ll square off at 9 p.m. on Monday night.
Bethune-Cookman enters with its highest seed since 2011 as the No. 2 seeded Wildcats will open on Wednesday, March 7 at 8 p.m. against the winner of the No. 7 Morgan State/No. 10 South Carolina State contest scheduled for Tuesday, March 6 at 9 p.m. Bethune-Cookman clinched the No. 2 seed after posting the second-best winning percentage against Co-champions Hampton and Savannah State.
Savannah State makes its return to postseason play after a one-year hiatus with a No. 3 seed. The seed marks the highest for the Tigers since entering the 2013 MEAC Tournament also as a No. 3 seed. Savannah State’s first contest won’t be until Thursday, March 8 as they’ll face either the No. 6 seeded and defending champion North Carolina Central or Coppin State (No. 11). NCCU and Coppin State will battle on Tuesday, March 6 at 6:30 p.m.
The 2017-18 regular-season champions, first team honorees and award winners including Player, Rookie, Defensive Player and Coach of the Year, will be recognized in pre-game presentations prior to the honorees’ first games in tournament play.
The 2018 MEAC Basketball Tournament tips off Monday, March 5, and will conclude on Saturday, March 10 with the men’s and women’s championship games. The women’s game will begin one hour after the end of the men’s game live on ESPN3. The contest will air the following day, Sunday, March 11, at 10 a.m. on ESPNU.
The men’s finale will begin at 1 p.m. and will broadcast live on ESPN2.