Tag Archive | "ncaa tournament"

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Prediction Machine’s Bessire says Orioles have 1.2% chance at winning World Series

Posted on 26 March 2014 by WNST Audio

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B&B Rapid Fire: Lewan, Vick, Schaub, Jackson & More

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B&B Rapid Fire: Lewan, Vick, Schaub, Jackson & More

Posted on 25 March 2014 by Brett Dickinson

By: Brett Dickinson & Barry Kamen

Each week on the Brett & Barry Show (Saturdays 9am-12pm), we gather each others’ analysis on the biggest local and national stories and headlines of the week for a couple of minutes a piece in a segment we call Rapid Fire.  We post our responses in blog form every week to a visual version, with links to our segment in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault.

LISTEN TO THE AUDIO SEGMENT HERE!

Brett 1: After an arrest in the middle of December, former Michigan offensive tackle and NFL draft prospect, Taylor Lewan, is facing three assault charges just months before the draft.  With the Ravens arrest total rising this off season, along with the controversy over Richie Incognito and the Miami Dolphins last season, should Ozzie Newsome consider drafting the guy with such a checkered past?

The Ravens organization has not been afraid of taking a chance on players with legal issues, as Ray Lewis, Jamal Lewis, Donte Stallworth, and Rolando McClain all come to mind. Taylor Lewan’s overall talent and willingness to discuss the incident with NFL teams, makes him worth the risk. Lewan is a top 10 talent, and if he were to fall to the Ravens at pick 17, it is a no-brainer. Plug Lewan in at right tackle, and the Ravens will have turned last year’s biggest weakness into a strength.

Devin HesterBarry 1: Week 2 of NFL free agency is officially in the books, with the second tier of available players signing on with their new teams. Is there one move from last week that stands out as significant, whether good or bad?

BD: I thought the that a couple teams have made nice under the radar moves as of late.  Though it may not be for huge contracts, the Atlanta Falcons adding return specialist Devin Hester and offensive guard Jon Asamoah, were great additions.  Hester is still the best return man in the game, even though he may not have many touchdowns, he will put the offense in good starting field position consistently.  Asamoah just made sense as an upgrade for their line that desperately needed.

Other moves I like include: WR James Jones to the Oakland Raiders, CB Walter Thurmond to the New York Giants and CB Antonio Cromartie to the Arizona Cardinals.

Mike Vick JetsBrett 2: Speaking of free agency, probably the “biggest named” quarterback, Michael Vick, left the Philadelphia Eagles to sign on with Rex Ryan and the New York Jets.  The much maligned signal caller has struggled the past couple seasons, before eventually losing his starting job to Nick Foles.  He now is trying to supplant Geno Smith as the starter for “Gang Green.”  Do you think this was the best fit for Vick and the Jets?

The Michael Vick signing is extremely confusing to me. As mentioned, the Jets spent a high 2nd round pick on Geno Smith, and despite his struggles and multiple injuries to the wide receiver position, finished 8-8. Signing Vick makes it clear that the Jets do not have full faith in Smith as their franchise quarterback, yet Vick cannot be relied on to be healthy for an entire season. The Jets love to make headlines with their  quarterback signings (Brett Favre, Tim Tebow, Vick), but I think the signing will be regrettable. The Jets need continuity, not publicity, at the quarterback position.

Matt Schaub RaidersBarry 2: Matt Schaub was another quarterback on the move, as the Houston Texans traded him to the Oakland Raiders for a late round pick.  For most of his career, he was pretty successful, until last year’s debacle of a season for the entire team. Can the Schaub trade enough to bring the Raiders back to relevance?

BD: This move is not about putting the Raiders over the top and back into contention. It was more about finding a veteran to hold down the position, so that Oakland is not forced to reach on one of the first round quarterback prospects.  Schaub has been decent for most of his career and now the team can focus on putting talent around that position, before bringing in a franchise player via the draft within the next couple seasons. Does Schaub make this team better? YES. But he is still probably the worst quarterback in a division that includes: Peyton Manning, Phillip Rivers and Alex Smith.

Phil Jackson KnicksBrett 3: The New York Knicks have officially brought in former Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers head coach, Phil Jackson, as their President of Basketball Operations.  Do you think this marriage will end with Jackson taking the Knicks back to the promised land with a NBA championship?

Phil Jackson’s triumphant return will make the New York Knicks a much better franchise because of the respect he has earned from his years as a coach. While the Knicks have very few pieces to build around, Jackson has stood by F Carmelo Anthony, providing the star player with much-needed confidence and stability.

I do not think that the Knicks will win a championship with Jackson as president. The Pacers and the Heat are set up to be the class of the Eastern conference for the foreseeable future, and the only way to intrigue free agents will be for Jackson to return to the sidelines and coach. With all signs pointing to Steve Kerr becoming the Knicks coach, the team will be much improved, but Carmelo Anthony’s style of play will have to change if he ever wants to add a ring to his resume.

Steve FischerBarry 3: After the first round match up in the NCAA Tournament, where San Diego State defeated New Mexico State in overtime after midnight, the losing NMSU was forced immediately on a plane to go home. SDSU head coach Steve Fischer had some poignant comments about the situation, saying the NCAA was “disgraceful” by their actions (Watch the post game interview HERE).  Do you agree with Fischer that NMSU should have been the opportunity to stay the night after such hard fought late night game?

BD: I could not agree with Fischer more, as I think it was bush-league to shovel off a losing team so late in the night.  We are not talking about them finishing in the middle of the day; it was the middle of the night.  Those kids just laid everything out on the court, not only for themselves, but benefiting the TV ratings for the NCAA! They deserved better and I am not surprised they did not get it from such a narrowed-minded organization. If I had any money to bet, I would put the bank on the fact that the NCAA changes this scenario as soon as next year.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 24 March 2014 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Boxing-Sergey Kovalev vs. Cedric Agnew (Saturday 10pm from Atlantic City live on HBO); MLS: Chicago Fire @ DC United (Saturday 4pm from RFK Stadium live on NBC Sports Network); Auto Racing: NASCAR STP 500 (Sunday 1pm from Martinsville, VA live on FOX); Golf: PGA Tour Texas Open (Thursday & Friday 3pm live on Golf Channel Saturday & Sunday 1pm live on Golf Channel 3pm live on NBC), LPGA Tour Kia Classic (Thursday & Friday 6:30pm Saturday & Sunday 7pm from Carlsbad, CA live on Golf Channel)

10. Damon Wayans (Friday & Saturday Magooby’s Joke House); Baltimore Greek Week (Tuesday-Sunday Greektown); Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus (Wednesday-Sunday Baltimore Arena); The Wolf of Wall Street” and “Delivery Man” out on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday); Bad Words“, “Noah” and “Sabotage” out in theaters (Friday)

I assume Damon Wayans will call me while he’s in town. After all, I am close personal friends with the family.

Also…language terribly NSFW (unless you work somewhere selling penny stocks), but this is by far and away the Magnum Opus of Wolf of Wall Street…

9. Mobb Deep (Sunday 8pm Baltimore Soundstage); Los Lonely Boys (Saturday 8pm Sunday 7:30pm Rams Head on Stage); The Ataris (Friday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Grouplove/MS MR/Smallpools (Sunday & Monday 7pm 9:30 Club); The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band (Thursday 7:30pm The Hamilton); Pentatonix (Saturday 8pm D.A.R. Constitution Hall); Experience Hendrix feat. Buddy Guy/Jonny Lang/Kenny Wayne Shepherd/Bootsy Collins (Sunday 7pm Lincoln Theatre); Johnny Cash “Out Among The Stars” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

I’m going to start a MS MR cover band called MR MS. I’m clever.

Smallpools is the band that did the best song in 2013 no one gave enough credit to.

I am a supporter of the Rev.

Kenny Wayne Shepherd. Jimi Hendrix. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t suck.

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B&B Big Story Banter: NCAA Bracket

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B&B Big Story Banter: NCAA Bracket

Posted on 21 March 2014 by Brett Dickinson

By: Brett Dickinson and Barry Kamen

BD: Barry, it was an exciting start to the the NCAA Tournament, where we saw a lot of upsets and overtime games.  Several mid-major teams made big strides in beating big conference NCAA tournament stalwarts, including Ohio State downed by Dayton, North Dakota State ousting Oklahoma, Harvard knocking off Cincinnati and Mercer beating DUKE!. The question is do you have confidence in any of lower seeds making a serious run and who are you predicting to be the ‘Cinderella’ of this March Madness ball?

BK: The first full day of March Madness was one for the ages. The first game (Dayton-Ohio State) provided a back-and-forth game that ended with Georgetown transfer Vee Sanford taking Aaron Craft to task to hit the game-winner with just under 4 seconds left. I watched just a fraction of the 12 hours of college basketball on Thursday, but with numerous nail-biters and 4 overtime games, my heart and wallet are the biggest winner of the tournament thus far.

What makes the tournament so enjoyable is seeing the country rally around an underdog take down the big schools. We were all captivated by George Mason’s run to the Final Four; Butler, Virginia Commonwealth, and Florida Gulf Coast have all seen their bandwagon’s grow for a few weeks in March and April. No one will soon forget Shaka Smart taking the Rams from the First Four to the Final Four, or when Sherwood Brown and “Dunk City” became the first ever #15 seed to reach the Sweet 16.

ND State BasketballMy choice for this year’s Cinderella is North Dakota State. The school boasts the best FCS football program in the country, but the Bison basketball team is proving that the school is more than just a one-sport power. After defeating #5 Oklahoma in overtime Thursday night, North Dakota State prepares for a weak #4 seed in San Diego State, who nearly blew a double digit against #13 New Mexico State. In their win versus Oklahoma, the Bison were boosted by 28 points from Lawrence Alexander, who averaged just over 10 PPG during the regular season. If North Dakota State’s stars Marshall Bjorklund (13.4 PPG) and Taylor Braun (18 PPG, 43% 3PT) play to the level which they are capable of, San Diego State and #1 Arizona should brace themselves for a difficult game and prepare an exit speech.

I mentioned a number of different mid-majors who have stolen our hearts over the years, but none have been able to get over the hump and actually win the national title (the closest that I can remember was Gordon Hayward for Butler, narrowly missing a 60 footer against Duke). There is no question that the gap between the mid-majors and the major conferences is closing. Brett, will the day come where we will see a mid-major win the national championship, and if so, how far away are we from seeing that day?

 

1990 UNLVBD: First of all, their has been a mid-major that has won a title in our lifetime (well maybe just my lifetime since you are basically still a toddler right?): UNLV in 1990.  Many don’t lump them into the conversation because they had three NBA players in their starting lineup (Larry Johnson, Greg Anthony, Stacey Augmon).  But that team came from a small school, in a small basketball conference, probably starting the whole mid-major craze.

The problem I see coming ahead for mid-majors is the NBA age limit actually helping big time programs, weakening the chances of  VCUs and Butlers and George Masons of the NCAA tournament.  Especially if the rule is changed, forcing two years of post high school, before eligibility for the draft. It would take away the key advantage that those Cinderella teams have over the big conferences; experienced rosters.  If every team is now filled with upperclassmen, all the sudden the teams with the most talent and top recruits are more likely to succeed.

Wichita StateSo I think if any team were to do it, it would have to come within the next couple seasons.  A senior filled roster, with tons of NCAA Tournament experience (with at least one run past the Sweet 16) and a strong defensive-minded coach could topple the big schools on their way to a national title.  That formula sounds eerily like this year’s undefeated Wichita State team.

I didn’t pick them in my bracket, but they are a No. 1 seed, while virtually their entire roster is intact from last season’s Final Four run. It should NOT be a surprise if they are the best team in country.  After watching the consensus favorites in their region in No. 4 Louisville struggle against Manhattan and No. 3 Duke lose to Mercer, it may be March Madness to pick against them at this point…right?

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Prediction Machine’s Bessire thinks Creighton’s McDermott has best chance to carry team to Final Four

Posted on 19 March 2014 by WNST Audio

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 17 March 2014 by Glenn Clark

Honorable MentionAuto Racing: NASCAR Auto Club 400 (Sunday 3pm from Fontana, CA live on FOX); Golf: PGA Tour Arnold Palmer Invitational (Thursday & Friday 3pm live on Golf Channel Saturday & Sunday 12:30pm live on Golf Channel 2pm live on NBC. All golf from Orlando), Champions Tour Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic (Friday 12:30pm Saturday & Sunday 5pm from Biloxi, MS live on Golf Channel), LPGA Tour Founders Cup (Thursday & Friday 6:30pm Saturday & Sunday 7pm from Phoenix live on Golf Channel); MLS: DC United @ Toronto FC (Saturday 4:30pm from Toronto live on MLS Direct Kick)

10. Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour by Cirque du Soleil (Tuesday & Wednesday 8pm Baltimore Arena); Rich Vos (Thursday-Saturday Magooby’s Joke House); Pablo Francisco (Thursday-Sunday DC Improv); Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival (Friday & Saturday Timonium Fairgrounds); Muppets Most Wanted“, “Divergent” and “50 to 1” out in theaters (Friday) American Hustle“, “Saving Mr. Banks“, “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” and “Frozen” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday)

I’ve been known to support the very important work they do at BBBBQ. In large part because they have mother effing pickle kabobs available there.

Also, this. (Language NSFW)

9. The Neighbourhood (Wednesday 8pm Rams Head Live); Marsha Ambrosius (Friday 8pm Baltimore Soundstage); Matt Schofield (Thursday 8pm Rams Head on Stage), Mike Doughty (Saturday 8:30pm Rams Head on Stage); Asking Alexandria (Wednesday 6:30pm Fillmore Silver Spring), Switchfoot (Thursday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Drive-By Truckers (Saturday 8pm Sunday 7pm 9:30 Club); Bob Schneider (Thursday 7:30pm Birchmere); Shamrock Fest feat. Dropkick Murphys/Carbon Leaf (Saturday 3pm RFK Stadium); Eddie Money (Friday 8:30pm The Hamilton); Foster The People “Supermodel” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

The Neighbourhood does all those songs you like.

I enjoy the work of Matt Schofield.

Forrester used to use a Mike Doughty song on “The D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction” all the time. For good reason.

I could listen to Bob Schneider sing this song ALL NIGHT.

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Maryland women receive four seed in NCAA Tournament

Posted on 17 March 2014 by WNST Staff

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The Maryland women’s basketball team earned a No. 4 seed in the 2014 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament. The Terps will play 13th-seeded Army Sunday at 12:30 p.m. in Comcast Center in the First Round.

Maryland will also welcome fifth-seeded Texas (21-11) and Ivy league champion Penn (22-6) to College Park, who will play at approximately 3 p.m. Sunday.  The winners of Sunday’s games will advance to Tuesday’s 7 p.m. Second Round contest in College Park as well. All three games will be shown on the ESPN networks.

The Terrapins are in the Louisville regional, in which Tennessee is the No. 1 seed. For the full bracket, log on to http://www.ncaa.com/interactive-bracket/basketball-women/d1.

“We are thrilled with the brackets,” head coach Brenda Frese said. “We don’t know obviously a lot about the different teams. I know Army won their conference tournament and are a really well-coached team, I do know that. They’ll bring a level of toughness here into Comcast Center.  You’ve got to be able to take one game at a time to be able to advance and move on. We’ve had one of our best weeks at practice. When you talk about just working extremely hard, putting a lot of things together, fine-tuning other things that you needed to do, we’ve been able to do that.”

Tickets for the First and Second Rounds in College Park start at $12 for a single session general admission ticket to Sunday’s games and go up to $30 for an all-session reserved seat. For more information or to purchase, log on tohttp://www1.xosn.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=29700&ATCLID=209390169&DB_OEM_ID=29700.

In last year’s NCAA Tournament run, the fourth-seeded Terrapins cruised past Quinnipiac, 72-52, in the First Round in College Park, then beat Michigan State, 74-49 to advance to the Sweet Sixteen. Maryland fell to eventual national champion Connecticut in the Sweet Sixteen in Bridgeport, Conn.

This marks Maryland’s 22nd NCAA Tournament appearance and 10th in head coach Brenda Frese’s 12 years. She’s led Maryland to four Elite Eights, five Sweet Sixteens, a Final Four and the 2006 NCAA Championship. Her all-time record with Maryland in the Tournament is 21-8 (.724). The Terps are 10-2 in NCAA Tournament games in Comcast Center.

Senior Alyssa Thomas was named ACC Player of the Year for the third straight year and is the second player in history to earn the honor three times. She became the program’s leading scorer Friday with 2,258 career points to pass Crystal Langhorne. She needs 12 points to pass Juan Dixon’s school record.

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Season over early after Maryland left out of NIT field

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Season over early after Maryland left out of NIT field

Posted on 16 March 2014 by Glenn Clark

The season is over for the University of Maryland men’s basketball team and the Terps will not be a part of postseason play for the third time in the last four years, the second time in Mark Turgeon’s three year tenure as head coach.

The Terrapins (17-15, 9-9 ACC) lost to Florida State in the second round of the ACC Tournament Thursday, marking the end of both their season and their history as part of the ACC. Not at all surprisingly, Maryland was left out of the NCAA Tournament for the fourth consecutive season Sunday night, marking the longest drought for the program since the beginning of former head coach Gary Williams’ tenure.

The Terps had been projected to be selected to the NIT field for a second straight season but were ultimately left out in part because of their lack of quality wins and in part because of the number of teams who received automatic bids (13) into the field of 32 after winning their conference’s regular season title but failing to claim an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament by coming up short in their conference tournaments.

The school did not comment on the possibility of the team participating in either the College Basketball Insider (CBI) Tournament or CollegeInsider.com (CIT) Tournament; but in previous years the university made it clear they had no interest in participating in such events.

“We’re disappointed our season came to an end, considering we played some of our best basketball down the stretch” Turgeon told the Washington Post after being left out of the field. “I look forward to our coaching staff and players working hard to take the necessary steps to advance our program.”

Maryland’s early exit in their final trip to Greensboro came just four days after their best win of the season, an overtime victory over ACC regular season and ACC Tournament champion Virginia at Comcast Center. Maryland also claimed a victory over Big East Tournament champion Providence at the start of the season in the championship game of the Paradise Jam event in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The 2014-2015 season will be the fourth in Mark Turgeon’s original eight year contract and the first for the program as part of the Big Ten Conference. Despite growing unrest from the fanbase, Turgeon’s job status is not at all at risk, in large part because of that contract. Athletic Director Kevin Anderson recently told the Baltimore Sun “I have the utmost confidence in Mark and what he’s putting together as a program. We’ve got a great recruiting class coming in.”

Maryland’s incoming recruiting class is indeed considered Top 15 by many recruiting services including ESPN.com. All members of the four man class are considered Top 100 recruits. SG Dion Wiley (Potomac), PG Romelo “Melo” Trimble (Arlington, VA), C Trayvon Reed (Snellville, GA) and SF Jared Nickens (Norristown, PA) make up the most impressive incoming class of Turgeon’s tenure.

The Terps lose only little-used forward John Auslander to graduation this offseason. Forwards Dez Wells and Jake Layman have been considered NBA prospects at times but neither is considered likely to depart school early. Wells and G Nick Faust (City) will be seniors next year, as will forward Jonathan Graham (Calvert Hall) who transferred to College Park from Penn State before the season. The veteran-laiden team is also slated to include rising juniors Layman, forwards Charles Mitchell and Shaquille Cleare and guard Seth Allen.

The only schools from the state of Maryland participating in postseason play are Mt. St. Mary’s (NCAA) and Towson (CIT).

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Mt. St. Mary’s draws First Four matchup with Albany in NCAA Tournament

Posted on 16 March 2014 by WNST Staff

Emmitsburg, Md. (March 16, 2014)—The Northeast Conference Champion Mount St. Mary’s men’s basketball team was announced as a No. 16 seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament and will face another 16 seed, Albany, in the First Round on Tuesday, March 18, at 6:40 p.m. The Mount’s First Round game versus the America East Champion will be held in Dayton, Ohio.

Playing in the South Region, a win in the First Round would propel the Mount into a Second Round matchup with No. 1 overall seed Florida on Thursday, March 20, in Orlando, Fla.

This is the Mount’s fourth appearance in the NCAA Tournament, joining the teams from 1995, 1999 and 2008.  The Mountaineers have been a No. 16 seed in each of their four appearances.  In 1995, the Mount lost to top-seeded Kentucky in the First Round, and in 1999, the Mount fell to top-seeded Michigan State in the First Round.  In 2008, the Mount defeated Coppin State in the Opening Round game before falling to No. 1 seed North Carolina in the First Round.

Mount St. Mary’s earned its spot in the NCAA Tournament by defeating Robert Morris, 88-71, in the Northeast Conference Championship game on Tuesday, March 11.  The Mountaineers (16-16) were the fourth seed in the NEC Tournament, and rallied to defeat St. Francis Brooklyn in the quarterfinal round before besting second-seeded Wagner on the road in the semifinals.

Tickets will be available through the Mount St. Mary’s Ticket Office beginning at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, March 17.  The ticket office phone number is 301-447-5700 and tickets are $60.00.

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Morgan faces NC Central Saturday night with MEAC Title, Tournament berth at stake

Posted on 15 March 2014 by WNST Staff

Game #31 - MEAC Tournament Finals
Date: Saturday, March 15, 2014
Opponent: No. 1 North Carolina Central Eagles (27-5)
Site: The Scope Arena, Norfolk, Va.
Game Time: 6 p.m.
Television: ESPNU
Record:  MSU 15-15 (11-5 MEAC)
MSU Coach: Todd Bozeman (143-115 – 8th yr)
Series History: NCCU leads series, 44-40
Last Meeting: NCCU 53, MSU 52 on Jan. 27, 2014 in Durham, N.C.

BALTIMORE, Md. – Scoring its fourth win in five games, No. 3 seed Morgan State (15-15) advanced to the championship of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament for the sixth time in eight seasons after taking down No. 7 seed Coppin State, 79-64, last night. The win marked the third time this season the Bears have downed the crosstown rival Eagles. The Bears tip-off against No. 1 seed North Carolina Central (27-5) at 6 p.m. and will be attempting clinch its fourth MEAC Championship title and clinch its third trip to the NCAA Tournament.

The Bears have had unprecedented success in the MEAC Tournament under head coach Todd Bozeman. The Bears have participated in six of the last eight MEAC Tournament championships, captured back-to-back MEAC Titles, and made appearances in the NIT and two NCAA Tournaments.

FOLLOW ALONG WITH LIVE STATS 
Live stats of all games will be available on the conference’s official website, www.MEAChoops .com. The preliminary games will also be streamed live on MEACsports.com.

IT’S OK TO BE A FOLLOWER 
MSU men’s basketball fans can follow their favorite team, or any of the other MSU athletics programs on Twitter through the handle @MorganStBears.

MEAC TOURNAMENT FACTS
• Morgan State has won three MEAC Tournaments (1977, 2009 & 2010) and will be making its sixth championship appearance under Coach Bozeman.

• Morgan State has advanced to the MEAC Semifinals seven times in the last eight seasons.

• Todd Bozeman has led Morgan State to 17 of the school’s 32 MEAC Tournament wins.

• Morgan State coach Todd Bozeman was the 2009 and 2010 Outstanding Coach of the MEAC Tournament.

• Morgan State has had four MVP’s of the MEAC Tournament: Marvin ‘The Human Eraser” Webster (1975); Eric “The Pencil” Evans (1977); Reggie Holmes (2009); and Kevin Thompson (2010).

• Legendary Morgan State center Marvin Webster averaged 21.3 rebounds per game during the 1975 MEAC Tournament.

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SCOUTING NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL
N.C. Central, 27-5 overall, finished 15-1 in the MEAC and earned the number one seed. The Eagles, who rank No. 18 in the Mid-Major Top 25 Poll, advanced to the championship as a result of rolling No. 8 seed Howard, 92-46, in the quarterfinals round of the MEAC, followed by a 68-45 blowout against No. 4 seed Norfolk State Friday night in the semifinals. N.C. Central is on a 19-game winning streak and will attempt to make it 20 when they enter tonight’s matchup with No. 3 seed Morgan State. The Eagles are vying for its first MEAC Tournament Championship and its first trip to the NCAA Tournament.

WE MEET AGAIN
The Morgan State Bears will square off against the Eagles for the 87th meeting between the two. N.C. Central holds a 46-40 advantage, and has gone 2-1 against the Bears since rejoining the MEAC.

THE PLAYERS TO WATCH
Senior guard Jeremy Ingram, an All-MEAC First Team selection, has fueled N.C. Central by averaging  at 20.3 ppg this season, while junior Jordan Parks has added 10.3 ppg and standout senior point guard Emanuel Chapman has contributed 6.8 ppg, 6.5 apg and 2.1 spg. The Eagles are led on the glass by redshirt-junior Jay Copeland (5.9 rpg). Senior Justin Black enters tonight’s contest averaging 19.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 2.8 apg while senior Ian Chiles is averaging 15.3 ppg, 6.6 rpg and 3.1 bpg, and senior Anthony Hubbard has added 10.8 ppg and 6.9 rpg.

THE ONLY MEETING THIS SEASON WAS AT N.C. CENTRAL, JAN. 27, 2014
DURHAM, N.C. – Jeremy Ingram posted a game-high 20 points, Maramu Jawara added 13 for N. C. Central. It all added up to the Eagles erasing a 13-point deficit to hold on and beat Morgan State 53-52 at McDougald-McLendon Gymnasium. Justin Black finished with 17 points for the Bears who came up short down the stretch for the second game in a row, having lost to N.C. A&T 68-67 in overtime.

The Bears tied the game at 52-52 when Donte Pretlow hit a jumper with 33 seconds to go. The Eagles came out of the timeout and worked the clock down before taking a shot that missed badly as the horn sounded. But the game was not over.

Morgan’s Shaquille Duncan was called for a foul against Karamo Jawara on a loose ball rebound. The officials adjusted the clock to display 1 second remaining in the game. Jawara stepped up and hit the first free throw, and missed the second on purpose. The Bears had .4 seconds left on the clock, but Thair Heath‘s inbounds pass sailed past Chiles as time expired.

NEXT UP: If Morgan State wins, they will earn an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament. It would mark the Bears third appearance in the “Big Dance” in the last eight seasons.

BLACK A MEMBER OF THE 1,000 POINTS CLUB 
Senior guard Justin Black eclipsed the 1,000 point mark for his career as a result of his 24-point outing against Cal State Northridge (12/27) … Black recently moved in front of Jason McCoy (1,292 pts – 1987-91) as the school’s No. 13 leading scorer and following his career-high 29 points outing against No. 6 seed Florida A&M he currently has 1,350 career points.

WELCOME TO THE CLUB MR. CHILES
Senior center Ian Chiles scored 18 points in the semifinals and moved up to No. 21 on Morgan State’s all-time scoring list with 1,028 career points. He is only 8 points shy of becoming the school’s No. 20 leading scorer held currently by James Turk (1,035 pts / 1961-63).

VETERANS HUNGRY FOR THE ‘SHIP 
Seniors Justin Black and Ian Chiles have advanced to the third MEAC Championship game of their career. The standout duo were members of the Bears squad that was defeated by Hampton (60-55) in 2011 MEAC championship game, and they fell short again when North Carolina A&T (57-54) captured the title in 2013.

WELCOME TO MY BLOCK PARTY
Ian Chiles has been making the most of his 7-foot-2 frame. The senior recorded a career-high 9 blocked shots against Norfolk State on Feb. 8. He completed the regular season ranked No. 3 in the MEAC (3.0 bpg). He posted six blocks in the MEAC semifinals and currently has 92 blocks for the season, and 191 for his career.

THE ALMOST-TRIPLE-DOUBLE
Despite the loss against Norfolk State (Feb. 8), Ian Chiles had a strong effort and came close to finishing with the oh so rare — triple-double. “Big Slew” completed the night with 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting, grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds and notched a career-high nine blocked shots … one rejection short a triple-double.

ANOTHER ALMOST-TRIPLE-DOUBLE
In the MEAC semifinals win against No. 7 seed Coppin State, Anthony Hubbard nearly finished with a triple double. The senior small forward seemed to be everywhere on the floor. He finished with 12 points to go along with nine rebounds and dished out a career-high nine assists in 31 minutes of work.

POSTSEASON HONOR ROLL
Two Bears landed postseason honors from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference in 2013-14. Seniors Justin Black and Ian Chiles were named to the All-MEAC first-team. With Black and Chiles receiving first team accolades, Morgan State has now registered at least one member on the All-MEAC first team in six of the last eight years under head coach Todd Bozeman.  In fact, this marks the third time under Bozeman that the Bears have had two players as first team selections.  The duo has also been named to the NABC First Team All-District team and College Hoops Daily All-MEAC First Team.

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