The 2013 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament is being hosted by Norfolk State University, the top seed in the tournament after the Spartans compiled a 16 – 0 undefeated record in conference play. They came into the tournament riding a fifteen game winning streak, knowing that any loss from this point forward could be a season-ending loss, even with the 22 wins under their belt. The Spartans took the court for the first time this afternoon, and their worst fears became a reality as Bethune-Cookman, seeded 8th, upset NSU in the Norfolk Scope 70 – 68 in OT. The loss leaves the Spartans out in the cold after a spectacular season. Also today, North Carolina A & T will battle North Carolina Central, and for those who don’t know, THAT is a heated rivalry in the Carolinas…..in any sport!
Both VCU and the University of Richmond are in New York on a business trip this week. The Atlantic – 10 Tournament opens on Thursday in Brooklyn at the Barclays Center with the 8th-seeded Spiders playing a first-round match-up against Charlotte, with the Rams ( 2nd seed ) holding a first-round bye and won’t see action until Friday night. Following a season-ending ‘gimme’ loss to Temple, VCU is now ranked No. 25 going into the A – 10 Tournament, and despite winning 24 of 31 games, top-seed St. Louis IS the team to beat. Both teams appear sure bets for an NCAA Tournament berth.
Seems Virginia will be well represented in this year’s NCAA field, and if anyone had asked which Virginia college would be the first one in this year, VCU would have been the most reasonable choice. Certainly, the Flames of Liberty University in Lynchburg, would not have been anywhere on your radar screen. Yet, here they are, with a record of 15 – 20. There’s no misprint, no typo here, the Famous Flames, with 20 losses are going to the Big Dance after stunning everyone in the Big South by winning the conference tournament and securing the automatic bid. Incredible. Also in is James Madison University after the Dukes left the Richmond Coliseum with the Colonial Tournament title and an automatic bid.
The ACC Tournament will also open on Thursday in Greensboro, NC with the Cavaliers of UVA seeded fourth following their huge overtime season-ending win over Maryland on Sunday in Charlottesville, The win gives Virginia a bye in the first round as they await the winner of the Virginia Tech / NC State opening round match up.