Howard University Men’s Basketball Team Are In NCAA Tournament For First Time In Three Decades
For the first time since 1992, Howard University men's basketball team clinched a bid for the NCAA tournament.
It was a victorious Saturday (March 11) for the Bison as they defeated Norfolk State University 65-64 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Championship, WUSA9 reported.
Howard also won the regular season title.
Norfolk had the last possession of the game, but couldn’t capitalize on a highly contested layup attempt.
After sophomore guard Marcus Dockery secured the rebound, a celebration erupted on the court as confetti added to the moment.
Dockery, after missing his first five three-point shot attempts, was finally able to get one through the bottom of the net, putting his team within one point with 13.2 seconds left in the game. An inbound pass that ended up out of bounds from a Norfolk State miscommunication, put the ball back in Howard’s hands.
Two free throws by Howard’s Jelani Williams — the only player for the no. 1 ranked Bison team to hit double figures (20 points) — put them in the lead and ultimately securing the victory, ESPN reported.
The Bison beat the Spartans twice during the regular season (87-67 and 86-84), with the final showdown for the MEAC championship coming down to the wire.
There were 15 lead changes and 11 ties during the matchup.
In 2021, Bison coach Kenny Blakeney spoke with The Washington Post about the three-decade streak of not being in the tournament and his purpose for the university:
“We have 31 years of not going to the NCAA tournament, so I don’t know if that speeds up my clock,” he said. “But I’m also not being complacent in that. I want to be a partner with the university. I want to be able to tell a story through men’s basketball and athletics that the university can’t tell. When we play on Fox against Notre Dame or we play on ESPN, we have a moment to introduce this university to a massive market that may not be familiar.”