No. 5 Morgan State and No. 7 North Carolina A&T are set to meet in the MEAC Championship Game after what has been a wild tournament. No. 1 Norfolk State and No. 2 North Carolina Central were heavy favorites to advance, but neither made it out of the second round.
Morgan State (18-16 SU) is 8-2 SU in its last 10 games against North Carolina A&T (17-14), though the series has been split 2-2 SU in the last four meetings between the two teams. Morgan State won the MEAC Tournament back-to-back in 2009 and 2010 and made it to the championship game in 2011, while North Carolina A&T is making its first appearance since 1997.
The Bears are 17-14 so far on the season, and 3-1 ATS vs. the number. The Aggies, meanwhile, are 18-16 and 6-0 ATS. OVER/UNDER bettors have seen Morgan State go 3-1 and the Aggies go 2-2 on the totals.
Power Rankings / Prediction:
The Odds Shark Power Rankings have the Bears at No. 136 and the Aggies at No. 140 heading into this contest. Handicapping models at Odds Shark project a 67-65 result in favor of the Bears.
How They Match Up:
Scoring and defensive stats point to some edges in this matchup. The game features Morgan State's No. 162-ranked scoring average of 68 PPG, against a Aggies defense rated No. 51 and allowing 61.4 PPG. The Bears FG% has averaged 45% to date this season, more than the Aggies shooters have managed so far (39.8% per game).
Defensively, North Carolina A&T features the nation's No. 57-rated defense on the road, allowing 64.4 points per game. Morgan State, meanwhile, comes in at No. 205 nationally in scoring at home.
North Carolina A&T was an 84-78 winner in its last match on the road against Delaware State. They covered the 3.5-point spread as favorites. The Aggies grabbed an 84-78 win over the Hornets on Friday, behind a 23-point effort from Adrian Powell at Norfolk Scope Arena.
Morgan State was an 82-71 winner in its last match at home against Bethune-Cookman. They covered the 4-point spread as favorites. The Bears grabbed an 82-71 win over the Wildcats on Friday, behind a 17-point effort from Shaquille Duncan at Norfolk Scope Arena.