BALTIMORE, Md. — Morgan State (23-11), the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champs, was made the 15th seed in the South Region and will play No. 2 Oklahoma (27-5) on Thursday, March 18 in Kansas City, Missouri. Tip time will be 30 minutes following the Michigan vs. Clemson contest which will begin at 7:10 p.m., EST.
The No. 15 seeded Bears, making their first-ever NCAA appearance, will tip off against the No. 2 seeded Oklahoma Sooners Thursday at the Sprint Center in Kansas City. The entire 65-team field was announced on CBS, which will televise Morgan State’s game live on Thursday.
“We are dancing,” said 3rd year MSU coach Todd Bozeman. “They could’ve sent us to Siberia. Who cares? We’re playing. People are going to be there, it’s going to be on TV, CBS is going to be there. So who cares where we are? I always say it doesn’t matter where we play. Just give us two baskets and a ball. We could play it outside.”
The winner of the MSU-OU game will face the winner of the game between seventh-seeded Clemson and 10th-seeded Michigan on Saturday.
The team watched Sunday night’s bracket unveiling at a theatre inside the Morgan State New Student Center with an estimated 200+ of MSU faithful, including the Pep band and cheerleaders, who were also celebrating Morgan State’s historic Mid-Eastern Athletic Championship win over Norfolk State.
Morgan State is currently on a 5-game winning streak and have won 13 of their last 14 games as they prepare to make their first NCAA Division I Tournament appearance.
Morgan State is coming off their first MEAC Championship in 32 years with a win on Saturday over Norfolk State.
The Bears are led by a three players. Junior guard Reggie Holmes (16.9 ppg.), an All-MEAC first team selection and was the Most Outstanding Player of the MEAC Tournament Championship. Senior forward Marquise Kately, who averages 11 points and 5.4 rebounds, was a second team All-MEAC pick. Senior point guard Jermaine Bolden led the conference with 5.0 assists, averaged 9.2 points and played a huge role in helping the Bears capture back-to-back regular season titles and its first conference championship in over three decades.
The Sooners feature sophomore forward Blake Griffin (22.1 ppg, 14.2 rpg.), the Big 12 Player of the Year. Oklahoma also has freshman guard Willie Warren (14.7 ppg., 3.1 apg.), a unanimous Big 12 Freshman of the Year and Second-team All-Big 12 pick. The Sooners are ranked sixth in the AP Poll and seventh in the USA Today/ESPN Top 25 poll as of March 15th.
The Sooners are coached by Jeff Capel, who is in his 3rd year at Oklahoma led the Sooners to a 23-12 record and second-round NCAA Tournament appearance last year. This is Capel’s 3rd NCAA tournament appearance (1 at VCU, 2 at OSU).
MSU’s Todd Bozeman will be making his fourth NCAA berth in seven years as a head coach…Senior Jermaine “Itchy” Bolden has set MSU’s single season assist (166) record this year Junior Reggie Holmes has already broke single season records for most three-pointers, most three pointers in a career, and ranks as the 13th all-time leading scorer in school history…Morgan State has won 23 games this season; marking its highest win total at the DI level, and its most wins since finishing 28-5 during the 1973-74 season in which the Bears won the NCA Division II National Championship… The Bears are ranked No. 23rd in the CollegeInside