By Larry McDaniel Jr.
For the sports and college world, the month of March is considered a national treasure and holiday. Throughout the NCAA season, which runs from the fall to the spring, teams set their sights on gaining entry to the NCAA’s end of season tournaments. This year, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) are well represented, both in the NCAA Division I Tournament, as well as in the NCAA Division II Tournament. For today’s Monday Morning MSI Line Up, lets take a look at those teams and how they fared in the tournament, as well as in the season!
1) Virginia Union University (HBCU)—Richmond, VA
Virginia Union University’s (VUU) Women’s basketball team finished the season ranked #2 nationally in the Coaches Association Poll. Riding a 28-5 season, the Panthers claimed the regional title and reached the NCAA Division II National Champion game where they faced off against Ashland University. Unfortunately, VUU loss 93-77. Nonetheless, the lady Panthers season will go down in history, as this season marks their highest ranking ever.
2) Texas Southern University (HBCU)—Houston, TX
Texas Southern University of the Southwest Athletic Conference made the NCAA Division I “March Madness” Tournament as a 16 seed. This is their seventh tournament appearance all-time, and for the third time in the last four years. Despite the efforts of Kevin Scott (19 points), the Tigers fell to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill–a number one seed. Texas Southwestern finished the season 23-12 and was recently honored for their efforts by the Houston City Council.
3) North Carolina Central University (HBCU)—Durham, NC
After winning the 2017 MEAC basketball tournament, North Carolina Central University (NC Central) entered the NCAA Division I “March Madness” Tournament as a 16 seed. The Eagles faced off against the UC Davis Aggies in the opening four games of the tournament. The matchup didn’t disappoint, as it went down to the wire. With 1:49 left in the game, standout player, Dajuan Graf nailed a 3-pointer to bring the score to 64-63. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough and the Eagles fell short, 67-63. NC Central finished the season 25-9.
4) Hampton University (HBCU)—Hampton, VA
Hampton University’s Lady Pirates–the 2017 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament Champions–entered the NCAA Tournament as a 15 seed in the Bridgeport Region. After a two-year absence from the tournament, the Lady Pirates traveled to the #2 seed, Duke University. Jephany Brown scored 18 points to lead Hampton; however, it wasn’t enough. Duke University won decidedly, 94-31. Despite the loss, the Lady Pirates finished the season strong (20-13) and developed a solid foundation for the future.
Know of any other HBCUs represented in the NCAA Division I or Division II Tournaments? Share in the comments below!