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Coppin State's Win

Coppin State's Fang Mitchell. (AP Photo)

One last MEAC tourney entry from HBCU Sports Blog proprietor Jarrett Carter. See also David Steele's rant against the NCAA for subjecting two hard-scrabble Maryland teams to the taint of the play-in nonsense, and the Examiner quoting people saying this is good for Maryland basketball, and MSM Coach Milan Brown talking old-school MEAC hoops. Brown is still Howard's all-time leader in assists.

See also East Coast Bias arguing that the NCAA just hates the state of Maryland.

By Jarrett Carter, in Raleigh

Other teams in the MEAC gave them an inch in the latter stages of the regular season, and the long mile to the conference championship now belongs to the well-traveled Coppin State Eagles. The seventh-seeded Eagles knocked off top-seed Morgan State, 62-60 , capturing their fourth conference title and their first NCAA tournament berth in 11 seasons.

The reserves on Coppin's bench outnumbered the members of the band. There were more supporters in the audience for Mr. CIAA's shocking appearance than there were Coppin faithful. But despite the small numbers in support and a big seed, Coppin made the improbable look undeniable, and unforgettable. Not to be outdone by the Lady Eagles' last-second heroics in their championship game, Coppin's Tywain McKee scooped in the last two of his season-high 33 points over three defenders with two seconds remaining in regulation.

Morgan State heads to the NIT, its first appearance in the postseason tournament in school history. There will be no big dance, but the Bears have solidified themselves as officially classy, after more than 20 years of genuine ashiness. This was confirmed by several Morgan students yelping the words to "We Are The Bears" at the South entrance of the RBC Center at the conclusion of the game.

May the Charm be with the Eagles on their way to the play-in game and beyond.

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 17, 2008; 9:20 AM ET
Categories:  College Basketball  
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