Area tournaments

MEAC men

College Basketball

March 07, 2005|By Kent Baker

MEAC men

Sites: Early rounds at Arthur Ashe Center, quarterfinals through final at Richmond Coliseum, Richmond, Va.

When: Today through Saturday

2004 champion: Florida A&M

2005 favorite: Delaware State. Picked fifth in the preseason poll, the Hornets came thundering down the stretch to capture their first regular-season championship when Morgan State won at Coppin State on Saturday. Delaware State won its last five in a row. It is a well-balanced team paced by guard Jahsha Bluntt (14 ppg) and forward Terrance Hunter (11.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg).

Dark horse: Morgan State. Despite doing all they could down the stretch, the Bears wound up with a sixth seed and must play UMES in the first round at the Ashe Center. Guard Sam Brand (13.8 ppg) and center Aaron Andrews (10.6 ppg and 7.8 rpg, second in the MEAC) are the leaders.

Player to watch: Chakowby Hicks, Norfolk State. This swingman has been nationally ranked in steals all season, placing fourth last week with 3.5 per game. Hicks has a multifaceted game, averaging 14.5 points and 6.1 rebounds.

Outlook: This is a wide-open field with any one of eight teams, including No. 8 Bethune-Cookman, the possible titlist. Coppin led the league for most of the regular season and beat Delaware State twice, but lost to No. 4 South Carolina State twice.

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