Going Out On A High Note

By MEAC Media Relations
Updated: March 16, 2008

RALEIGH — The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference announced that the 2008 MEAC Basketball Tournament increased its attendance by more than 30 percent in its final year, of a three-year agreement, in Raleigh/Wake County, North Carolina.

The tournament welcomed 38,228 basketball fans to the RBC Center including 8,120 attendees to Saturday’s championship games. The Coppin State University athletic program became the first institution in MEAC tournament history to sweep the tournament crowns since the 1999 season.

The Coppin men (16-20) truly had to “earn” its way to the final. After getting by Howard in the first round, the Eagles had to knock off the number three (Norfolk State), the number two (Hampton) and the number one (Morgan State) seeds to win the title.

The women’s final featured the Lady Aggies, the top seed and regular season champions and Coppin State (22-11), the number two seed and 2006-07 regular season champs.

It was the upstart NC A&T, which has established itself among the elite in the conference and the Lady Eagles, who have won three of the past four regular season and tournament titles. Both the men (16-20) and women’s teams earned a berth to the NCAA Division I Tournament.

“To more than double the tournament’s attendance in three years shows continued growth and we are elated that we are able to exceed the 2007 attendance by more than 30 percent,” said MEAC Commissioner Dennis Thomas.

The tournament featured an array of competitive matchups with two overtime games and 13 contests with less than a 10 point marginal finish. In fact, no game on the men’s bracket finished with more than a 10 point difference and the 2008 men’s champion edged out all of their opponents by just six points combined.

Up to four MEAC teams can participate in the post season play including the regular and tournament champions. The North Carolina A&T State women’s basketball team (25-7) will compete in the WNIT while Morgan State men’s basketball team (22-10) will participate in the NIT.