Sites: Today's two play-in games are at the Arthur Ashe Center in Richmond, Va. The rest of the games are at the Richmond Coliseum.
Today's play-in games
(7) Morgan State (7-19, 5-13) vs. (10) N. Carolina A&T (5-20, 4-14), 10 a.m.
(8) Delaware State (7-19, 5-13) vs. (9) S. Carolina State (6-20, 5-13), 2 p.m.
(1) Howard (20-6, 16-2) vs. lower-seeded play-in winner, 1 p.m.
(2) Hampton (20-6, 16-2) vs. higher-seeded play-in winner, 6 p.m.
(3) Fla. A&M (18-8, 14-4) vs. (6) Bethune-Cookman (7-16, 6-12), 1 p.m.
(4) UMES (16-10, 12-6) vs. (5) Coppin State (9-17, 7-11), 6 p.m.
Howard-TBD winner vs. Coppin-UMES winner, 2 p.m.
Hampton-TBD winner vs. Florida A&M-Bethune winner, 8 p.m.
Saturday's championship game
Semifinal winners, 3 p.m.
Local hopes: UMES gained a lot of confidence last week by winning two of three games on the road and narrowly missing out on an upset at top-seeded Howard, 66-62.
For Coppin State, a promising 5-1 run was wiped out by four straight losses to end the season. One of those setbacks came in double overtime at home to UMES, which defeated the Eagles twice in OT this season. A young Morgan State squad enters the tournament coming off a dismal 53-33 loss to UMES last Saturday, a game that mirrored the season for the Bears: turnovers, poor shooting and a lot of little mistakes.
Team to beat: Howard or Hampton. But both squads have struggled enough against the other teams in the league, proving they are not invincible.
Team to avoid: UMES has a knack for winning close games. The Hawks are playing with a lot of confidence and could find themselves in the championship game.
Star quality: Howard's 6-foot junior forward Alisha Hill just keeps overpowering people inside for a 19.3 scoring average. Hampton's 5-10 junior guard Danielle Dawson is another bright talent in the league, averaging 15.5 points.
Pub Date: 3/03/98