1: 2011-2012 Norfolk State
Record: 26-10, 13-3
Norfolk State’s first fifteen years in the MEAC had been some of the toughest in its proud basketball history. After getting his team to the MEAC title game in 2009, Anthony Evans continued to build the Norfolk State program over the next couple of years as big man Kyle O’Quinn matured and he continued to import players from New York. The 2012 Spartans didn’t win the MEAC regular season, finishing 22-9 in the regular season, just behind Savannah State. It came out on top in a tough MEAC Tournament in Winston-Salem for its first-ever MEAC title.
NSU was awarded a 15 seed, which had already yielded historic upsets for Coppin State and Hampton. It was matched up against Missouri in a game that was supposed to be an easy win. At the end of the first half the game was tied at 38, and late in the game it was tied again when O’Quinn pulled off a three-point play that gave NSU some breathing room and it held on for an 86-84 win. It would go on to lose to Florida in the next round but it set the pace for a decade of great NCAA Tournament upsets.
It’s performance wasn’t as consistent as the second and third teams on this list, but it got the job done in crunch time. Whenever MEAC Basketball is discussed, this team will be at or near the top.
Key players: Kyle O’Quinn (MEAC Player of The Year), Pendarvis Williams, Chris McEachin