Morgan State came out hot and took advantage of a sluggish West Virginia team in today's first game - or what Bob Huggins calls a "Bloody Mary" game. The Golden Bears got out to a 10-0 lead over West Virginia, sending bracket watchers and the Big East into even more of a panic mode. Then, reality set in...
WVU's Kevin Jones scored nine straight points to bring the Mountaineers back to life. A Joe Mazulla three-point play finally gave the two-seeded West Virginia their first lead of the game with just over five minutes left to go in the half. The Mountaineers took a 38-27 lead into the break - courtesy of a 21-4 run - and never looked back. West Virginia went on to win in a blowout 77-50.
While Morgan State did a great job of shutting down Da'Sean Butler, his teammates Devin Ebanks and Jones carried the load. Ebanks scored 16 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to go with Kevin Jones' team-high 17 points. Da'Sean Butler scored 9 on 4-12 shooting.
For Morgan State, Reggie Holmes scored 12 points to lead the Golden Bears. Only one other player scored in double digits (Kevin Thompson, 11).
West Virginia advances to play the Clemson-Missouri winner.
Morgan State goes home with a story to tell. But before they do, let's look back at the 15 seed that had us at the edge of our seats for 15 minutes this afternoon...
MEAC Champions! Morgan State lost only one conference game in the regular season and won their second straight MEAC Conference tournament championship. The Golden Bears dominated the MEAC from start to finish. I don't care what P. Diddy said about Howard.
Morgan State is not a state. I've looked on nearly every map I can get my hands on. Rumor has it that the university is in Baltimore, Maryland. I don't get it.
Reggie Holmes is a chameleon. The MEAC Player of the Year did it all this season. He scored, dished, rebounded, and even transformed into an elderly woman during the MEAC conference tournament:
We were all Golden Bears on our lunch break. Yesterday, we were all Robert Morris fans. Today, we were Golden Bears. When Mo' State kicked off the second day of the NCAA tourney with a 10-0 lead over 2 seeded West Virginia, everyone was ready to act as if we had been fans our whole lives. It's natural.
Morgan State, we barely even knew you...