A Look Through the Years
About the MEAC Basketball Tournament
The 2015 MEAC Basketball Tournament marks the 44th year of the tournament on the men’s side and the 36th year for the women. The Tournament will be played in Norfolk, Va. at the Norfolk Scope Arena for the 3rd year in a row. The city of Norfolk was previously host to the MEAC family from 1991 to 1993, and again in 1997.
The first two MEAC Basketball Tournaments (1972 and 1973) were held in Durham, N.C. at Cameron Indoor Stadium on the campus of Duke University. Greensboro, North Carolina has held the longest tenure as tournament host, housing the annual event at the Greensboro Coliseum for 10 years from 1976 to 1979, then again in 1983 and 1984, and finally from 1987 to 1990.
Several other cities and states have housed the MEAC Basketball Tournament over the years, including Baltimore, Md. (1974, 1975, 1994, 1995); Philadelphia, Pa. (1985, 1986); Norfolk, Va.(1991- 1993, 1997);Tallahassee, Fla. (1996);Richmond, Va. (1998-2005); Raleigh, N.C. (2006-2008); and Winston-Salem, N.C. (1980-82, 2009-2012).
Competition over the Years
North Carolina A&T men dominated the MEAC Basketball Tournament the first 17 years, winning titles from 1972 to 1988, including a run of seven straight tournament titles from 1982 to 1988 under legendary coach Don Corbett. The Aggies won two more titles in 1994 and 1995 to push their conference leading total to 15 titles. Corbett won six MEAC Coach of the Year awards and six straight Outstanding Tournament Coach awards.
After the Aggies reign through the ‘70s and ‘80s, the conference witnessed several different tournament champions. The 1990s belong to Coppin State, who won three titles (1990, 1993 and 1997) and earned seven No. 1 seeds. The animated Ron “Fang” Mitchell has also won six Coach of the Year honors (tying Corbett) and four tournament Outstanding Coach awards.
In 2008, Mitchell guided his Eagles to their fourth tournament title with a 62-60 win over Morgan State. The No.7 seed Eagles earned their way to the finals after getting by Howard in the first round, Norfolk State in the quarterfinal, Hampton in semi finals and Morgan State in the championship game.
From 1989 to 2003, South Carolina State men captured more titles than any other team. Led by another of the MEAC’s legendary coaches, Cy Alexander, the Bulldogs won five tournament titles (1989, 1996, 1998, 2000, and 2003) and earned the top seed going into the tournament six times. The Bulldogs also won three regular season titles during that stretch in 1989, 1996, and 2003.
The South Carolina State Lady Bulldogs captured three of the first four MEAC Tournament titles on the women’s side (1978 to 1983). They earned another title in 1986 and back-to-back titles in 1992 and 1993, for a total of six. Their dominance didn’t last long, as Howard quickly became the power program of the women’s tournament. Under the guidance of long-time Howard coach Sanya Tyler, the Lady Bison won nine tournament titles, including four straight from 1987 to 1990 and a three-peat from 1996 and 1998. Howard won another title in 2001 to bring their total to a conference-best 10 on the women’s side. In just 17 years with the MEAC, Hampton has won10 MEAC Basketball Tournament titles, four for the men (2001, 2002, 2006 and 2011) and six for the women (2000, 2003, 2004, 2010, 2011 and 2012).
The 1999 season was truly impressive and intriguing for the MEAC Tournament. In the women’s final, Florida A&M center Teresa Jenkins recorded a triple-double (24 points, 13 rebounds and 10 blocks), while the FAMU men’s team won the MEAC titles as a No. 7 seed. The Rattlers had to win four games in five days, eventually defeating No. 1 seed South Carolina State, 64-61, to clinch the tournament title.
There have certainly been a few dynasties in the MEAC through the years. And with dominate teams, come dominate players and performances.
Who could ever forget the Aggies’ James Sparrow, who earned two tournament Outstanding Performer honors, including a remarkable performance in 1978 when he posted 21 points and 13 rebounds in the title game against Morgan State. Howard’s Larry Spriggs won three consecutive MVP awards (1978 to 1981). Spriggs averaged over 14.0 points and 7.0 rebounds each year in tournament games. The Aggies’ Eric Boyd also won three outstanding performer awards.
Coppin State’s Tywain McKee capped one of the most brilliant individual performances in tournament history, scoring on a five-foot floater with three seconds remaining, to clinch the 2008 title. The Eagles, also a No. 7 seed, were the second team in tournament history to earn the title winning four games in five days and eventually knocking off the No. 1 seed Morgan State.
Karen Wilkins (1989 and 1990) and Alisha Hill (1997 and 1998) of Howard are the only two women to win back-to-back MVP awards in the MEAC Tournament.
|MEAC Tournament History for Men's & Women's Basketball|
|Men's Basketball||Women's Basketball|
|Tournament Victories by School (PDF)||Tournament Victories by School (PDF)|
|Tournament Records (PDF)||Tournament Records (PDF)|
|Tournament Results (PDF)||Tournament Results (PDF)|
|Tournament Selections (PDF)||Tournament Selections (PDF)|
|Postseason Play (PDF)||Postseason Play (PDF)|