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Ticket Punched: North Carolina A&T comes out of nowhere for shocking MEAC tournament title win

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(USA Today Sports Images)

A week ago, there was no good reason to predict that North Carolina A&T was getting ready to win four games and take the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference title.

North Carolina A&T was just 8-8 in the MEAC, which is one of the lowest rated leagues in college basketball. It was the seventh seed in the conference tournament, and hadn't been to the NCAA tournament since 1995. It hadn't even been to the MEAC semifinals in six years. But after hanging on to win a hard-fought game against Morgan State to win 57-54, the Aggies became one of the most unlikely entries in the NCAA tournament.

North Carolina A&T hadn't won more than two games in a row all season before its magical week.

The MEAC tournament was turned upside down when top two seeds Norfolk State and North Carolina Central lost on Wednesday. North Carolina A&T beat N.C. Central by 13.

The Aggies beat Delaware State on Friday and then outlasted Morgan State on Saturday.  The Aggies played just seven players in the championship game, but included in those seven were four seniors and two juniors. For the seniors, their careers were going to end this week if not for this unlikely run.

Norfolk State did the MEAC proud last year with a monumental upset in the tournament against Duke. That seems to be unlikely for this year's MEAC entry. North Carolina A&T struggles to score on offense, has very little depth, very little size, and until a few days ago was barely above .500 this season. It was 228th in KenPom.com's ratings coming into Saturday. A 16 seed seems very likely for the 19-16 Aggies, and trip to Dayton for the First Four is a good possibility.

All of that is fine with the Aggies. Being in the NCAA tournament at all was a farfetched dream earlier this week.

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