Under the Radar Game of the Day: Norfolk State at Morgan State, 7:00 PM Eastern, free streaming at morganstatebears.com
For Jon Teitel’s recap of his visit to Grand Canyon University, CLICK HERE.
The Under the Radar Game of the Day heads to the MEAC tonight for a contest involving one of three teams currently locked in a battle for the regular season championship and top seed in the conference tournament. Entering play tonight, Hampton is on top of the standings at 11-2, with South Carolina State half a game back at 11-3 and Norfolk State a full game back at 10-3. The regular season title has a very good chance to come down to next Thursday night’s finale when Hampton will be in Norfolk to take on the Spartans. However, before that potential title matchup can be set, both teams have some work to do, including Norfolk State on the road tonight in Baltimore to take on Todd Bozeman’s Morgan State Bears.
Norfolk State currently sits at 14-14 overall, one of only three teams in the MEAC (along with Hampton and SC State) at or above .500 overall. The Spartans have won 8 of their last 10 games and will be looking to continue their winning ways tonight. They are led by three seniors, Jeff Short, D’Shon Taylor and Charles Oliver. Short led the way last time out, in a win over Coppin State, with 17 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals. Also keep an eye on sophomore Jordan Butler, who was the team’s top player in a home win over Morgan State back on February 13, scoring 13 points while pulling down 9 rebounds and blocking 7 shots. If the Spartans can win tonight, and Monday at home against Howard, they may be in a position to claim the regular season title next week. And with the conference tournament being held in Norfolk again this season, an NCAA Tournament bid is also well within their grasp.
Morgan State, unlike Norfolk State, does not appear to be a serious contender for the postseason, though history has shown us that the MEAC Tournament is always ripe for a surprise champion from a lower seed. The Bears enter play tonight at 6-20 overall and 4-9 in MEAC play, a record that places them tied with Florida A&M for last place. FAMU is ineligible for the MEAC tournament due to their APR, thus placing the Bears in the 12 seed slot at the moment. The good news for Morgan State is that they are also only one game out of 7th place! Seven teams currently stand within one game of each other at the bottom of the MEAC standings, an incredible logjam that will need to be sorted out in the next week. The Bears are led by Cedric Blossom, who has scored 20 points in each of his last two games, and led both teams in their earlier matchup, with career highs in points (28) and rebounds (15) in the loss. The Bears are at home tonight, and if Blossom can be anywhere close to how good he was back on February 13, the upset is definitely possible.