MEN'S BASKETBALL PREVIEW
The Game: North Carolina A&T (11-16, 6-6 MEAC); N.C. Central (13-12, 7-5 MEAC)
Students must have vaild ID and a ticket to enter
When: Saturday, Feb. 18 at 4 p.m.
Where: Corbett Sports Center
Must See: A battle for positioning as the MEAC Tournament approaches. For all the hype this game will receive for the packed house it produces at Corbett Sports Center on Saturday, it will be vital as the two teams jockey for position in the MEAC standings. The Eagles, who defeated the Aggies 65-46 earlier this season, are a game ahead of the Aggies in the standings. As it stands now with four games remaining, Coppin State is the fifth seed with N.C. Central following closely behind in sixth and the Aggies are in seventh. A&T would love to jump over both teams nicknamed Eagles to get the fifth and final bye in next month's MEAC Tournament in Winston-Salem. A bye means the Aggies would not have to play the first day of the tournament, and they would need only three wins and not four to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
N.C Central: The two teams last played on Dec. 3 and some things have changed. The Eagles have played with point guard Justin Leemow over the last nine games. They have not played with preseason first-team All-MEAC guard since Dec. 6 because of an injury. Meanwhile, the Aggies are no longer playing with forward Jordan Herrera or center Kam Shepherd. Plus, Aggies guard Nic Simpson no longer starts. Despite the changes, there is one thing that will never change; the Aggies and the Eagles are still one of the most heated rivalries in the nation. N.C. Central head coach LeVelle Moton is 2-1 against the Aggies as a coach. Moton was 3-1 against the Aggies when he played for the Eagles from 1992-96. The Aggies lead the all-time series 74-64. The Eagles are led by Division I transfers Dominique Sutton (16.0 ppg and 7.4 rbg) and Ray Willis (15.8 ppg and 5.4 rbg).
He's Heating Up: The Aggies have the luxury of having two very good point guards in Marc Hill and Jeremy Underwood. The backup of the duo - Jeremy Underwood - has played well in the Aggies last two home games. On Feb. 11 against S.C. State, Underwood finished with a career-high seven assists as the Aggies defeated the Bulldogs 85-55. Two nights later, Underwood led the Aggies with 11 points in a loss to Savannah State. He had just one turnover and went 4-for-4 at the free throw line. The sophomore out of Washington, D.C., is averaging 5.1 points and 2.1 assists per game in 2011-12.