With 20-win season in bag, Eagles seek something sweeter

Mar. 03, 2013 @ 11:49 PM

N.C. Central’s win over Savannah State on Saturday put the Eagles at that 20-win benchmark that is regarded as the standard for a successful college basketball season.

NCCU coach LeVelle Moton said he hadn’t necessarily counted on the Eagles winning so many games, although he added that those victories really just add up to a good starting point.

“The other day, I lined everybody up and took my daughter’s bag of Skittles, and I gave everybody a Skittle,” Moton said, referring to his players. “I told them that if the season ended today, this is what you’d get, a Skittle. That’s it. They’re not hanging any banners, no rings, no championships, no parades. You’ve just got a handful of Skittles. Now, if you’re satisfied and you love Skittles this much, then God bless you. If you want to work for something bigger and greater, then let’s go and try to accomplish that.”

NCCU returns to the court tonight against S.C. State (7:30 p.m., nccueaglepride.com) for its final home game before wrapping up the regular season at Hampton on Thursday.

The Eagles have a comfortable second-place seat in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. First place would be better, guaranteeing a spot in the National Invitation Tournament.

Of course, MEAC teams want to win next week’s conference tournament in Norfolk, Va., that comes with an NCAA tournament berth.

Norfolk State sits atop the MEAC as the only team that hasn’t lost a game in the league, and Moton joked that he’s willing to pull a string or two to foil the Spartans.

“I didn’t want to put myself in a situation where we needed some help, but I’m going to call all of the coaches and supply extra scouting reports if they need them,” Moton said.

The MEAC’s two top teams aren’t scheduled to meet during the regular season but could clash for the championship of the league tournament next Saturday.