MEAC men’s and women’s basketball tournament predictions from the Spokesman sports editor

Morgan’s men’s and women’s basketball teams begin their conference tournaments on March 10.


Edwin Moore

The MEAC Basketball Tournament will take place from March 9 to March 12.

Tariq Turner, Sports Editor

On Wednesday, Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) men’s and women’s basketball teams will begin their journey to earn an automatic bid in the NCAA Tournament.

The MEAC men’s and women’s basketball tournaments are scheduled to start on Wednesday and conclude on Saturday. 

All games will be played in the Norfolk Scope Arena in Norfolk, Va. 

The quarterfinal and semifinal contests will stream live on ESPN+.

The men’s championship game will air on ESPN2 while the women’s championship will air on ESPNU.

Morgan’s men’s basketball team (12-13, 7-6) is the fourth seed in their respective tournament and is scheduled to face the fifth seed South Carolina State Bulldogs (15-15, 7-7) at 6 p.m. on Thursday. 

The third seed Lady Bears (17-7, 11-3) face the sixth seed South Carolina State (4-24, 4-10) at 2 p.m. on Thursday. 

Here are The Spokesman sports editor’s predictions for the tournaments. 

Men’s tournament:

Game: Norfolk State (No. 1) vs. Delaware State (No. 8) on March 9 at 6 p.m.

Prediction: Norfolk defeats Delaware State

The reigning MEAC champions, Norfolk State Spartans (21-6, 12-2), did not lose a home conference game during the regular season.

Their team consists of three players who earned All-Conference honors including MEAC Player of the Year awardee Joe Bryant Jr. 

The senior point guard averaged 16.8 points and 3.3 assists per game in 27 contests this season.

The Delaware State Hornets (2-24, 0-14) were winless in conference play.

Game: Howard (No. 2) vs. Coppin State (No.7) on March 9 at 8 p.m.

Prediction: Howard defeats Coppin 

The Eagles (7-22, 6-8) defeated the Bison (16-12, 9-5) in both regular season matchups.

On Jan. 24, they defeated them 83-81 and won 86-82 on Feb. 21. 

Howard graduate guard Kyle Foster, a 2022 MEAC All-First Team recipient, averaged 23 points in the two contests. 

Of the 15 players named to the MEAC All-Conference teams, Howard had the most with four.

In addition to Foster, sophomore Steve Settle III, freshman Elijah Hawkins and graduate student Randall Brumant earned All-Conference honors. 

Game: Morgan (No. 4) vs. South Carolina State (No. 5) on March 10 at 6 p.m.

Prediction: Morgan defeats South Carolina State

After losing to Howard in the inaugural NBA HBCU Classic, Morgan ended its regular season on a four-game winning streak, including a 85-74 win over Norfolk on Feb. 21. 

The Bears defeated the Bulldogs in both of their regular season games. 

On Jan. 10, they earned an 88-81 overtime win and on Feb. 14, they won 76-66.

Morgan senior guard Trevor Moore averaged 18 points per game against the Bulldogs. 

Morgan junior guard De’Torrion Ware’s scoring will be vital for the Bears’ chances in the tournament.

The MEAC Second Team awardee led his team in scoring in the regular season with 10.9 points per game. 

Game: North Carolina Central (No. 3) vs. University of Maryland Eastern Shore (No. 6) on March 10 at 8:30 p.m. 

Prediction: North Carolina Central defeats UMES

North Carolina Central (15-14, 8-5) and UMES (11-14, 6-8) split their season series. 

On Jan. 24, North Carolina Central won 75-63 and on Feb. 21, UMES won 79-66.

North Carolina Central sophomore guard Justin Wright, who was named to the MEAC First Team, averaged 16 points in the two contests.

Game: Winner of Norfolk/DSU vs. winner of Morgan/SC State on March 11 at 6 p.m.

Prediction: Norfolk defeats Morgan

Over the past two seasons, Norfolk is 4-1 against Morgan.

Key players for Norfolk over the last two years include Bryant Jr., Kris Bankston, and Jalen Hawkins.

Key players for Morgan include Ware, Malik Miller, and Lagio Grantsaan.

Game: Winner of Howard/Coppin vs. winner of North Carolina Central/UMES on March 11 at 8 p.m.

Prediction: North Carolina Central defeats Howard

The Bison won both regular season games.

On Jan. 29, they earned a 75-74 overtime win and on Feb. 26, they won 77-67.

Wright did not compete in the second game. 

Game: Championship game on March 12 at 1 p.m.

Prediction: Norfolk defeats North Carolina Central

The teams split two games in the regular season. 

North Carolina Central defeated Norfolk 70-67 on January 31 and lost to them 75-46 on February 28.

Bryant averaged 13 points and five assists in the two games.

Women’s tournament:

Game: Howard (No. 1) vs. Delaware State (No. 8) on March 9 at 12 p.m.

Prediction: Howard defeats Delaware State

Howard (17-9, 11-3) defeated Delaware State (0-23, 0-14) by an average of 36.5 points in two regular season games.

Game: Norfolk (No . 2) vs. North Carolina Central (No. 7) on March 9 at 2 p.m.

Prediction: Norfolk defeats North Carolina Central 

Norfolk (15-10, 11-3) won both regular season matchups against North Carolina Central (5-19, 3-11).

On Jan. 10, the Lady Spartans won 80-70 and on Feb. 28, they won 71-63.

Norfolk senior guard Camille Downs averaged 25 points in the two games.

Game: Coppin (No. 4) vs. UMES (No. 5) on March 10 at 12 p.m.

Prediction: Coppin defeats UMES

Coppin (15-12, 9-5) defeated UMES (11-15, 7-7) 86-57 on Jan. 29 but lost to them 60-51 on Feb. 26.

Coppin junior guard Aliyah Lawson, a MEAC First Team recipient, scored 22 points in the first game but was held to eight on 2-for-16 shooting in the second.

Game: Morgan (No. 3) vs. South Carolina State (No. 6) on March 10 at 2 p.m.

Prediction: Morgan defeats SC State

The Lady Bears ended their season on a four-game winning streak.

They won the four games by an average of 4.25 points and one game went into overtime.

Morgan defeated South Carolina State 73-49 on Feb. 7 and 76-48 on Feb. 14.

Lady Bears junior guard Ja’Niah Henson averaged 14.5 points per game against the Lady Bulldogs.

Game: Winner of Howard/DSU vs. winner of Coppin/UMES on March 11 at 12 p.m.

Prediction: Howard defeats Coppin 

The Lady Bison defeated the Lady Eagles in both of their regular season matchups. 

On Jan. 24, they won 70-64 and on Feb. 21, they won 70-67.

Howard junior forward Brooklyn Fort-Davis averaged 21 points and eight rebounds in the two games. 

Game: Winner of Norfolk/North Carolina Central vs. winner of Morgan/SC State on March 11 at 2 p.m.

Prediction: Norfolk defeats Morgan

The two teams split their season series. 

Norfolk won its home game against the Lady Bears on Jan. 24, defeating them 64-52. 

The Lady Bears defeated the Lady Spartans 51-48 on Feb. 21.

Morgan senior forward Charlene Shepherd scored 14 points and grabbed 9 rebounds in the second game.

Game: The MEAC 2022 Championship game will take place on March 12 after the conclusion of the men’s game.

Prediction: Howard defeats Norfolk 

In the final seconds of last year’s championship game, The Lady Bison had a 57-56 lead over North Carolina A&T. 

With three seconds remaining, Lady Aggies senior guard Deja Winters nailed a game-winning 3-point basket from the left corner. 

Howard junior guard Iyanna Warren scored 21 points on 6-for-9 shooting in the game. 

Warren, a MEAC Second Team recipient, averaged eight points in two games against Norfolk.

Her team defeated the Lady Spartans 71-67 on Feb. 10 and lost to them 62-58 on March 3.