MEAC Tournament: NC Central vs NC A&T Preview
NC Central vs NC A&T Preview
The MEAC Tournament is going as predicted and that gives us a solid semifinal matchup between the No.2 seeded NC A&T Aggies (19-12, 13-3) and the No.3 seeded NC Central Eagles (16-15, 10-6).
The top four seeds in the MEAC have all advanced to the semifinals–No.1 seed Norfolk State will take on No.4 seed Howard before the NC-showdown later tonight.
The Aggies barely survived against No. 7 seed Coppin State on Wednesday, escaping with an 82-79 overtime win.
“Coppin State fought us to the end, but our young men are very tough mentally,” said N.C. A&T coach Jay Joyner. “They believe no matter what they’re going to win. We didn’t play our best basketball, but we got the job done tonight.”
Luckily for A&T, they have junior guard Ronald Jackson on their team–Jackson scored on a layup and was fouled with 17 second remaining in the game, then completed the three-point play to give the Aggies an 81-78 lead.
Jackson finished with 21 points and 14 rebounds for his first double-double as an Aggie. His 14 rebounds are the most by an Aggie this season. Ten of his rebounds came on the offensive end. Kameron Langley also had a double-double with 10 points and 12 assists to just one turnover.
NC Central had a lot easier road to the semifinals–they led wire-to-wire over Delaware State on the way to a 75-57 win over the Hornets. NC Central was able to create the separation it needed in the first half as it shot 60.7 percent from the floor to take a 44-28 advantage to the break over DSU.
Randy Miller Jr. led all scorers with 18 points, and Zacarry Douglas came one-point shy of a second consecutive double-double with nine points and a game-high 12 rebounds, and he added on two blocks and a steal as well.
NC A&T has gotten the better of Central both times this season–dominating at home for a 74-52 victory to close out the regular season and winning on the road earlier in conference play, 51-48.
Dan’s Bet: NC A&T outright
Score Prediction: NC A&T 66 NC Central 63