Men's conference tournament

College Basketball

March 06, 2007|By PAUL MCMULLEN

Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference

Site -- RBC Center, Raleigh, N.C.

When -- Today through Saturday

Web site -- meachoops.com

TV -- Championship Saturday (6 p.m.) on ESPN Classic

Favorite -- Top seed Delaware State (19-11, 16-2)

State entries -- Fifth seed Morgan State (12-17, 10-8); eighth seed Coppin State (11-19, 9-9); 11th seed UMES (4-26, 1-17)

Outlook -- Both Baltimore teams have reason to believe they can make some noise, if not get the city its first NCAA tournament berth since 1997, when Coppin State reached the second round. The late-season return of point guard Darryl Roberts from a broken foot sparked the Eagles to a late-season rush that brought them within a game of the five-team logjam at third place. Morgan State was part of that cluster. It handed regular-season champion Delaware State its only home loss, but the Bears, at one time in control of second place, have dropped four of their past six. With the MEAC women also playing at the RBC Center, home of North Carolina State and an NHL franchise, a quirky bracket could have Coppin State play twice before the Bears and first-year coach Todd Bozeman face fourth seed South Carolina State in a Thursday (8 p.m.) quarterfinal. If Coppin State wins its first-round game against Bethune-Cookman at 9 tonight, it will face Delaware State in a quarterfinal tomorrow (8 p.m.). The Hornets were unable to fulfill their No. 1 seed last year, and if form doesn't hold, Coppin State and Morgan State would meet in Friday's semifinals (6 p.m.). UMES was Division I's only winless team in conference play until it beat Howard. In the other half of the draw, the Hawks get sixth seed Norfolk State in a first-round game tomorrow (6 p.m.).

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