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The 101st annual CIAA Tournament gets underway in Charlotte on Tuesday. The Men’s and Women’s brackets are set with the ladies taking the court on opening day. The Lady Trojans of Virginia State University will open on Tuesday at 1pm vs the Blue Bears of Livingstone College. VSU is the third seed of the North Division, while the Lady Panthers of Virginia Union University have a first-round bye as the 2nd-seeded team and await the winner of the VSU / Livingstone game. In the Men’s bracket, Virginia State is the 5th seed in the North and will play on opening night, Tuesday at 7pm vs the Broncos of Fayetteville State. No. 3 seed Virginia Union won’t hit the main court until Thursday at 3pm when the Panthers face the Rams Of Winston-Salem State.

In the MEAC, The Spartans of Norfolk State University continue to run rampant through the conference, going 13 – 0 this season and the question now is can NSU run the table. The Spartans win on the road at Delaware State over the weekend. That’s twelve straight victories to improve to 18 – 10 with a home date Saturday against Bethune-Cookman. Now, on Norfolk’s heels are the Eagles of North Carolina Central University, who at 12 – 1, only trail NSU by one game with three games left. However, not one of the three qre against NCCU. In fact, they did not and will not meet this season, UNLESS, they both wind up in the MEAC title game. Coincidently, that game would be played in the Norfolk Scope during March Madness.

As the Atlantic – 10 teams make the playoff push, the VCU Rams finding the going much tougher in the final weeks of the regular season after sitting atop the league standings practically all season long. As soon as the Rams re-enter the national poll at No. 24, they fell at Saint Louis, a team that was teetering around the edge of the Top 25 as well, and now the Billikens are ranked 18th in the AR poll, while the Rams, 22 – 6, remains in the USA Today Coaches Poll at No. 25. VCU has a huge game Saturday night at the Siegal Center as 20th-ranked Butler rolls into Richmond.

Meanwhile, the Spiders of UR defeated Fordham on Saturday in New York, and have two of their remaining four games here in the Capital City, their next home game will be George Washington’s visit on Wednesday. The Spiders are 16 – 11, but only 5 – 5 in their last 10 ganes.

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