NORFOLK, Va. (MEACSports.com) – The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) has released its men’s pairings for the 2019 MEAC Basketball Tournament, March 11-16, at the Scope Arena in Norfolk. The Spartans of Norfolk State (14-and-2 MEAC) enter as the No. 1 seed for the first time since the 2012-13 season, when they went 16-and-0 in conference play.
CLICK HERE for the 2019 MEAC men’s bracket
The top-seeded Spartans will open tournament play on Wednesday, March 13 at 6 p.m. versus the winner of the No. 8 Maryland Eastern Shore/No. 9 South Carolina State contest, which takes place on Tuesday, March 12 at 6 p.m.
Not only has Norfolk State won the regular-season championship, but the Spartans are also guaranteed at least a berth to the National Invitation Tournament (NIT), should they fail to win the MEAC Tournament and the ensuing automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.
The men’s teams will open play on Monday, March 11, as No. 6 Savannah State, which won a share of the regular-season title last season, takes on No. 11 Delaware State at 6 p.m. to wrap up play on the opening day.
North Carolina A&T State enters postseason play with its highest seed in quite some time at No. 2. The Aggies will open on Wednesday, March 13 at 8 p.m. against the winner of the No. 7 Coppin State/No. 10 Morgan State contest, which is scheduled for Tuesday, March 6 at 8:30 p.m.
N.C. A&T State clinched the No. 2 seed after posting its first 12-plus win season in conference play since the 1991-92 season, when the Aggies were 12-4 in league play.
Reigning MEAC Tournament champion North Carolina Central will try to become the first team to three-peat since North Carolina A&T State won seven in a row between 1982 and 1988. The Eagles will come in as the No. 3 seed and won’t be on the floor until Thursday, March 14 at 6 p.m., when they face either Savannah State or Delaware State.
Bethune-Cookman, one of last season’s co-champions of the regular season and this year’s preseason favorite, will enter this year’s tournament at the No. 5 seed, facing off against No. 4 seed Howard on Thursday, March 14 at 8 p.m.
The 2018-19 regular-season champion, first team all-conference honorees and other award winners, including Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and Coach of the Year, will be recognized in pre-game presentations prior to the honorees’ first games in the tournament.
The 2019 MEAC Basketball Tournament tips off Monday, March 11, and will conclude on Saturday, March 16 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 9 a.m. on ESPNU.
The men’s finale will begin at 1 p.m. and will broadcast live on ESPN2. The preliminary games will be streamed live on FloHoops. Live statistics of all games will be available on the conference’s official website and the tournament’s official website, www.MEAChoops.com.