Over the past two seasons, the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) has been dominated by one team: the Hampton Pirates.
The Pirates have represented the conference in each of the last two NCAA Tournaments, and they won a conference-best 13 games in MEAC play a season ago. Heading into the 2016-17 season, the Pirates have their sights set on a three-peat, while the other 12 teams will be looking to knock them from atop the conference hierarchy.
There are a handful of teams who have the talent and experience in place to knock off the Pirates atop the MEAC. From top to bottom, this year’s race for the MEAC crown will be one of the more competitive races across the NCAA. With talent scattered all over the conference, any team can win on any given night in 2016-17. Continue reading 2016-17 Conference Previews: Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference→
In the 2015 NCAA Tournament, the Hampton Pirates found themselves in Dayton, OH in the First Four, fighting for a 16-seed and a spot in the Second Round.
After taking down the Manhattan Jaspers to do just that, they were paired up against the high-powered Kentucky Wildcats. They got a taste of the bright lights on the national stage in the Big Dance, and found themselves one win away from being there again in 2016.
In their way, the upstart South Carolina State Bulldogs were looking to take down the regular season champions and go dancing themselves. In the regular season, the Bulldogs went on the road and took down the Pirates, and they were looking to knock them off once more.
In the end, only one team could advance to the NCAA Tournament, and it was a tight game early on. After being tied at 39-all after the first half, the Pirates pulled away in the second half to come away with the win.
Last season, the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference was represented by the Hampton Pirates in the NCAA Tournament, and three teams overall made post-season appearances from the conferences.
One of those three teams just happens to be the Maryland-Eastern Shore Hawks, who took part in the 2015 CollegeInsider.com Tournament.
Saturday marks the first meeting between the two schools in 2015-16, and both teams are currently trending in the right direction in the conference standings. The Pirates are the conference’s top team, while the Hawks have put together a three-game conference winning streak to get back into the thick of things in the title race.
Last season, the Hampton Pirates took home the MEAC tournament title and punched their ticket to the NCAA Tournament. After taking down the Manhattan Jaspers in the First Four, they were paired up against the Kentucky Wildcats in the Round of 64.
The Pirates fell short against the Wildcats, but their appearance in the Big Dance led to a heightened sense of optimism for the 2015-16 season.
After a slow start to the season, the Pirates have turned things around in conference action. Hampton is a perfect 7-0 against MEAC opponents this season, and have pushed their record to 11-7 on the season,
Hampton is the only team in the MEAC above .500 on the year overall.
A big reason for their turnaround in conference play has been the play of senior guard Quinton Chievous. After transferring to Hampton from Tennessee, the 6’6” guard has stuffed the stat sheet on a nightly basis for the Pirates.