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The Voice of the Black Community
There's no rhyme or reason with coronavirus basketball scheduling
Teams plagued by postponements, cancellations
Published Wednesday, January 13, 2021
by Bonitta Best

North Carolina Central, which hasn't played a basketball game since December due to coronvirus-related postponements or cancellations, is scheduled to play its next game on Jan. 23.

LeVelle Moton Jr. is going to be shaving before North Carolina Central plays another basketball game.

NCCU hasn’t played since last month, and its next scheduled contest isn’t until Jan. 23 – if then. If the Eagles win their fourth straight MEAC championship this season, Moton Sr. should be named national coach of the year ‘cause he’ll have done one heck of a coaching job.

The MEAC canceled or postponed over 70 games as of Jan. 6. It makes you wonder how a football season can go on with 50 to 70 players per team if administrators can’t even keep 10 to 15 healthy on a basketball team. How can teams find any rhythm when it’s on one night, off the next, on again, off again? Most are playing without home fans, so not much money is coming in, but schools keep trying.

Only the CIAA has canceled all of its fall sports. Not only are they canceled, but schools are not even allowed to play outside the conference.

Lincoln (Pa.) women’s and men’s basketball got a few games in before the announcement was made, and it’s unfortunate for the men, since they looked good early on. The Lions were 3-0.

Both the CIAA and SIAC made joint statements in announcing the postponement of fall sports into the spring and cancellation of their football seasons. But the CIAA is alone in its decision to cancel its money-making basketball tournament.

The SIAC is trying to hold on. It pushed the start of winter and spring sports to March 1, which includes basketball, tennis, golf, track and field, baseball and softball. I feel sorry for the sports information directors.

Despite the roller coaster ride in the MEAC, women’s basketball – when played – continues to be entertaining. Howard (5-2, 1-1 MEAC) particularly so with victories over Mount St. Mary’s, LaSalle, George Washington and Richmond. Jayla Thornton leads the team in scoring with 15.3 points per game, while freshman teammate Anzhane Hutton is averaging a league-best 9 rebounds per game.

Morgan State women’s coach Ed Davis (formerly of Bowie State) has the Bears in second place. Davis has revitalized the program from a doormat into a contender.

Over in the Southern Division, North Carolina A&T’s women have the only winning record (2-1), but that doesn’t mean much since they’ve played the fewest games of anybody. On the men’s side, only Morgan State and Norfolk State are above .500. The Bears have big victories over Iona, Delaware and James Madison.

The Spartans opened the season by winning three of their first four contests. Since then, their schedule has gone like this: postponed, loss, postponed, loss, win, canceled, postponed, postponed, postponed.

The worst of the two NCAA Division I HBCU conferences is definitely the SWAC.

Only one women’s team has a winning record and that’s Alabama State at 1-0. The same holds true on the men’s side, except the team is Alabama A&M, which is 2-0 after victories over Samford and South Alabama.

Four of the 10 men’s teams are winless – Southern, Alcorn State, Mississippi Valley State and Alabama State – and, well, with the exception of AAMU, have you seen a SWAC game this season?

Ugh! Like watching paint dry.

Can we have some football – pretty please?

Bonitta Best is sports editor at The Triangle Tribune in Durham.


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