By Bradford Brooks:
Let the madness begin because the 2018 NCAA tournament is officially under away. Two historically Black colleges are set to play against one another in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament this week after each won its respective conference championship over the weekend. The matchup is historic, as teams from Black colleges typically gets matched up against predominately white institutions. The South Western Athletic Conference champion Texas Southern Tigers (15-19) will be facing off against the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champion North Carolina Central Eagles (19-15) in the round of 4 opening round on Thursday. TSU lost its first 13 games of the 2017-18 season before winning three straight against Southern, Alcorn State and Prairie View in SWAC play. But they got hot at the end of the season and are on a seven-game winning streak, including sweeping its way to a SWAC Tournament title.
The Eagles earned their automatic bid to the tournament with a 71-63 win over Hampton in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament. Both of these schools made it to the NCAA tournament last year. For central they fell short to UC Davis in the opening round 67 to 63, while Texas Southern was knocked out by North Carolina in the first round 103 to 64. Both of these schools are coming into March with experience in March as this will be Texas Southern 4th appearance in March and this will be North Carolina Central’s 3rd trip to the tournament and they will both be looking to win their first ever game in the NCAA tournament. Following this game, the winner of this matchup will be an underdog in the round of 64 as they will be squaring off against number one seed Xavier who many believe will blow out either one these teams. MEAC and SWAC teams have historically performed rather poorly. For, the MEAC is 6–32 all time in the NCAA tournament and the SWAC is 2–31.But just about anything can happen in the month of March. HBCU’s have won their fair share of game in the tournament and will look to make history again. Remember when North Carolina A&T won it first game back in the 2013 versus Liberty University. What about when the Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions defeated Winthrop back 2010. And let’s not forget when the Norfolk State Spartans shocked the world as they were a huge underdog as a number 15 seed and knocked off number 2 seeded Missouri back in 2012 NCAA tournament. HBCU’s rarely are favorites entering their matchups against predominantly white power house’s but there is always a chance for them to play spoiler and make history and in this historical matchup between Texas Southern and North Carolina Central it makes for another opportunity.
By Bradford Brooks:
I sat down with Southern University All American Cornerback Danny Johnson about his path to NFL. In this interview we talked about his time at Southern University, the Senior Bowl, and the Draft Combine. Hope you enjoy!
Written By: Bradford Brooks
If you didn’t know Lamar Raynard coming into the 2017 season, I bet you do now. Before the 2017 football season started for the Aggies many people outside of Greensboro believed that this team wouldn’t be able to keep its dominance without star running back Tarik Cohen. But Raynard and the rest of his teammates had different plans for the doubter.
Capping off a historical season and something that had never been done, which was winning another Celebration Bowl title and becoming the first ever team in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) history to finish the season undefeated. Raynard became a household name with a breakout season as a sophomore where he earned All-MEAC second-team honors. Raynard is now considered one of the best quarterbacks in the nation and has added even more hardware and honors to his collection. As he was a finalist for the Walter Payton Award given to the best offensive player in the Football Championship Subdivision, earned All-MEAC first-team honors, winning the MEAC Offensive Player of the Year and Sports Hero FCS National Offensive Player of the Year.Raynard was also a finalist for the Deacon Jones Award which is given by the Black College Football Hall of Fame to the best player in black college football.
Throughout the season, Raynard toppled several school records. He broke single-season school records in yards passing yards (2,707), completions (186), touchdown passes (26), touchdowns responsible for (29) and total offense (2,875). Nationally, Raynard was third in passing efficiency (171.6), fourth in yards per pass attempt (9.50), 10th in passing yards per completion (14.55) and completion percentage, 11th in passing touchdowns and points responsible for per game (16.0), 15th in points responsible for (170), 18th in passing yards per game (246.1), 20th in passing yards and 21st in total offense per game (261.4).
He lead the MEAC in completion percentage, passing efficiency, passing TDs, passing yards, passing yards per game, points responsible for, points responsible for per game and yards per passing attempt. Most importantly the Raynard is undefeated as a starter (26-0). The Aggies have won back to back years versus FBS opponents and have also won three MEAC titles in a span of four years. Raynard will be returning for his redshirt Senior season and will look to lead the Aggies to another magical season as they will open the season of against East Carolina September 1st.
Written By: Ventress Johnson and Bradford Brooks
This women's basketball season has been one of the best we have seen in a long time. We have seen the rare quadruple double that was recognized by every sports network you can think of, as well as one of our own leading the nation in scoring at one point in the season. There have been other great highlights that has happened this season and some of these women have most of them.
Find out wins the first ever HBCU SpotlightTV Women's Basketball Player of The Year Award April 1st, 2018.
Written By: Ventress Johnson & Bradford Brooks
Its about that time where the basketball season is coming to an end. Where schools are about to be crowned their conference champions, and will move on to play for either the NCAA D1 or D2 National Championship. Many teams have stuck out. You have Morehouse, University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, and with a huge turnaround from last season North Carolina A&T playing some great ball right now, but there are players who stand out for these teams as well as others from schools who have not been named. Here is our 2017-2018 Men’s Player Of The Year Watch list.
Find out who wins the first ever HBCU SpotlightTV Mens Basketball Player of The Year Award April 1st, 2018.
Written by: John Livengood
What a time to be a Bison
With under a minute remaining, and on a 4th-and-2, the Bison of Howard converted to secure their home-opening Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference win of the 2017 season over the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats, 26-24.
Caylin Newton led the squad down the field, and ran a 5-yard touchdown for the go-ahead score with 39-seconds reigning on the clock. Leading a very methodically 45-yard pace on nine plays.
HU's defense then held strong forcing B-CU four straight incomplete passes.
With the win, Howard snapped its six-game skid against the Wildcats. It also was the Bison first home victory against B-CU since 1996.
Lean, mean running machine
On offense, Howard racked up 500 total yards with 343 on the ground, along with 157 yards in the air. Four Bison had 50 or more rushing yards, led by Newton and Anthony Philyaw.
Newton finished with 140 rushing yards and two TDs. He showcased from dynamic, elusive runs, making defender miss consistency all game long.
Philyaw, the MEAC Preseason Player of the Year, added 93 powerful yards in the victory.
Back and forth all game long
B-CU gained early 7-0 advantage after a 20-yard run from Larry Brihm.
Early in the second quarter, Guy Lemonier Jr. recovered a fumble in the end zone and tied the contest, 7-7.
The next possession, the Wildcats went down and reclaimed the lead with a 23-yard touchdown pass from Brihm to Frank Brown, 14-7.
To close out the first half, Howard tied the game at 14 -14 after a 5-yard TD pass from a Newton to Philyaw connection.
The opening of the third quarter Howard had a 9-play, 74 yard drive. They scored on a 1-yard QB sneak from Newton for HU's first lead of the game for a score of 20-14.
B-CU responded with an opening drive in the third quarter and regained the advantage, thanks to an extra point, 21-20.
Midway through the third, B-CU increased their lead on a 42-yard field goal, 24-20.
Written by: Bradford Brooks
Allow him to introduce himself, his name is Caylin Newton, the brother of NFL quarterback and the 2015 NFL MVP Cam Newton. Caylin made his debut last Saturday in Las Vegas, lining up under center for the Bison, playing quarterback just like his big brother as they faced UNLV.
In Newton’s debut, he made quite an impression accounting for 330 total offensive yards and three touchdowns to lead Howard to an improbable win as they were considered a 45-point underdog against FBS opponent UNLV.
Howard’s 43 to 40 victory over the Rebels is the largest point spread upset in college football history. It was also the second consecutive season a MEAC conference team has been able to defeat an FBS opponent.
New head coach Mike London inherited a team that posted a record of 3 and 19 over the last two seasons. So this win marks the start of a new era and a lot of optimism for the HU program as this was the program’s first win over an FBS opponent.
For Newton, this win allowed him to establish his own identity as force to be wrecking with in the future of college football and to get out of his brother’s shadow.
Mike London’s Bison travel on the road again this week as they face another FBS opponent Kent State.
There Howard will look to stay hot and also capture their second consecutive victory in school history over FBS competition.
Written by: Bradford Brooks
The North Carolina A&T Aggies started the 2017 season with one lingering question that people have asked all offseason, how do you replace production?
Rod Broadway’s team lost a couple of MEAC standouts, losing senior Quarterback Oluwafemi Bamiro, senior Wide Receiver Denzel Keys, senior Defensive End Marquis Ragland, and all-time MEAC leading rusher running Tarik Cohen.
The Aggies entered the season predicted to finish second in the MEAC, behind in state rival and defending MEAC champ North Carolina Central.
After capturing 3 back to back MEAC championships and a celebration bowl appearance back in the 2015 season, there were a lot of question marks of how the Aggies could continue to produce at a high level.
The Aggies opened the 2017 season down in Boiling Springs, NC, facing off against Big South opponent Gardner Webb.
North Carolina A&T came out the gate ready to show the spectators what they were made of lead by their elite defense and Senior and preseason MEAC first team QB, Lamar Raynard.
The Aggies were able to defeat Gardner Webb by a score of 45 to 3, led by Senior QB Lamar Raynard who accounted for 4 of the aggies 7 touchdowns. Raynard threw for a career high 321 passing yards and also set a new high for completion percentage registering an 86 completion percentage by connecting on 19 of his 22 passes, throwing for 3 touchdowns in the air and also registering 1 on the ground.
FCS All American return Specialist Khris Gardin also had a big day as he returned 5 punts for 150 yards, including an 88 yard punt that he returned for a touchdown.
The Aggies defense also held the Bulldogs and 2016 Big South player of the year Tyron Maxwell to a total of just 114 yards of offense in the game.
Any questions or concerns on how the Aggies would function without running back Tarik Cohen were answered in this season opener.
The Aggies face off against Mars Hill this Saturday on September 9th for the home opener.
Sat, Aug 26
Texas Southern V. Florida A&M @ Tallahassee, Fla. @ 11:00 a.m.
Sat, Sep 02
UAB v. Alabama A&M @ Birmingham, Ala. @ 2:30 p.m.
Mississippi Valley State v. North Dakota @ State Fargo, ND @ 2:30 p.m.
Arkansas-Pine Bluff v. Morehouse College @ Pine Bluff, Ark. @ 6:00 p.m.
Alcorn State v. Miles College @ Lorman, Miss. @ 6:00 p.m.
Alabama State v. Tuskegee @ Montgomery, Ala. @ 7:00 p.m.
Jackson State v. TCU @ Fort Worth, Texas @ 7:00 p.m.
Grambling State v. Tulane @ New Orleans, La. @ 7:00 p.m.
*Labor Day Classic - Texas Southern v. Prairie View Houston, Texas 8:00 p.m.
Sun, Sep 03
MEAC/SWAC Challenge - Southern v. South Carolina State @ Baton Rouge, La. @ 1:30 p.m.
Thu, Sep 07
Prairie View v. Sam Houston State @ Prairie View, Texas @ 6:30 p.m.
Texas Southern v. Houston Baptist @ Houston, Texas @ 7:30 p.m.
Sat, Sep 09
Vanderbilt v. Alabama A&M @ Nashville, Tenn. @ 3:00 p.m.
Alcorn State v. FIU @ Miami, Fla. @ 5:00 p.m.
Troy v. Alabama State @ Troy, Ala. @ 5:00 p.m.
Southern v. Southern Miss. @ Hattiesburg, Miss. @ 6:00 p.m.
Grambling State v. Northwestern State @ Grambling, La. @ 6:00 p.m.
Mississippi Valley State v. Southern Illinois @ Carbondale, Ill. @ 6:00 p.m.
Jackson State v. Tennessee State @ Memphis, Tenn. @ 6:00 p.m.
Arkansas-Pine Bluff v. Akron @ Akron, Ohio @ 6:30 p.m.
Sat, Sep 16
Southern v. UTSA @ San Antonio, Texas @ TBA
Alcorn State v. McNeese @ Lorman, Miss. @ 6:00 p.m.
*Jackson State v. Grambling State @ Grambling, La. @ 6:00 p.m.
South Alabama v. Alabama A&M @ Mobile, Ala. @ 6:00 p.m.
Arkansas-Pine Bluff v. Arkansas State @ Jonesboro, Ark. @ 6:00 p.m.
Nicholls v. Prairie View @ Thibodaux, La. @ 6:00 p.m.
Alabama State v. Kennesaw State @ Montgomery, Ala. @ 7:00 p.m.
Sat, Sep 23
*Lewis Crews Classic - Alabama A&M v. Texas Southern @ Huntsville, Ala. @ 6:00 p.m.
*Jackson State v. Arkansas-Pine Bluff @ Jackson, Miss. @ 6:00 p.m.
*Alcorn State v. Southern @ Lorman, Miss. @ 6:00 p.m.
Mississippi Valley State v. Grambling State @ Itta Bena, Miss. @ 6:00 p.m.
*Alabama State v. Prairie View @ Montgomery, Ala. @ 7:00 p.m.
Fri, Sep 29
*Texas Southern v. Alcorn State @ Houston, Texas @ 8:00 p.m.
Sat, Sep 30
*Alabama A&M v. Arkansas-Pine Bluff @ Huntsville, Ala. @ 2:00 p.m.
Grambling State v. Clark Atlanta @ Chicago, Ill. @ 3:30 p.m.
*Prairie View v. Jackson State@ Prairie View, Texas @ 4:00 p.m.
Mississippi Valley State v. Charleston Southern @ Charleston, S.C. @ 5:00 p.m.
Southern v. Fort Valley State @ Baton Rouge, La. @ 6:00 p.m.
Sat, Oct 07
*State Fair Classic - Prairie View v. Grambling State @ Dallas, Texas @ 4:00 p.m.
*Arkansas-Pine Bluff v. Mississippi Valley State @ Pine Bluff, Ark. @ 6:00 p.m.
*Southern v. Alabama A&M @ Baton Rouge, La. @ 6:00 p.m.
Texas Southern v. Kennesaw State @ Kennesaw, Ga. @ 6:00 p.m.
*Alabama State v. Alcorn State @ Montgomery, Ala. @ 7:00 p.m.
*Alcorn State v. Prairie View @ Lorman, Miss. @ 7:00 p.m.
Sat, Oct 14
*Alabama A&M v. Mississippi Valley State @ Huntsville, Ala. @ 1:00 p.m.
*Alcorn State v. Prairie View @ Lorman, Miss. @ 2:00 p.m.
Jackson State v. Tuskegee @ Mobile, Ala. @ 6:00 p.m.
Sat, Oct 21
*Grambling State v. Alcorn State @ Grambling, La. @ 2:00 p.m.
Mississippi Valley State v. Virginia Lynchburg @ Itta Bena, Miss. @ 2:00 p.m.
Jackson State v. Southern @ Jackson, Miss. @ 6:00 p.m.
Sat. Oct 28
*Magic City Classic - Alabama State v. Alabama A&M @ Birmingham, Ala. @ TBA
*Grambling State v. Texas Southern @ Grambling, La. @ 2:00 p.m.
Prairie View v. Bacone College @ Prairie View, Texas @ 2:00 p.m.
Mississippi Valley State v. Jackson State @ Itta Bena, Miss. @ 2:00 p.m.
*Arkansas-Pine Bluff v. Southern @ Little Rock, Ark. @ 2:30 p.m.
Sat, Nov 04
*Mississippi Valley State v. Texas Southern @ Itta Bena, Miss. @ 1:00 p.m.
*Arkansas-Pine Bluff v. Grambling State @ Pine Bluff, Ark. @ 2:30 p.m.
*Southern v. Prairie View @ Baton Rouge, La. @ 4:00 p.m.
Sat, Nov 11
*Prairie View v. Arkansas-Pine Bluff @ Prairie View, Texas @ 1:00 p.m.
*Alabama A&M v. Jackson State @ Huntsville, Ala. @ 1:00 p.m.
*Alabama State v. Grambling State @ Montgomery, Ala. @ 2:00 p.m.
*Alcorn State v. Mississippi Valley State @ Lorman, Miss. @ 2:00 p.m.
*Texas Southern v. Southern @ Houston, Texas @ 5:00 p.m.
Thu, Nov 16
Incarnate Word v. Prairie View @ San Antonio, Texas @ 6:00 p.m.
Sat, Nov 18
Alabama A&M v. Kentucky State @ Huntsville, Ala. @ 1:00 p.m.
Jackson State v. Alcorn State @ Jackson. Miss. @ 2:00 p.m.
Arkansas-Pine Bluff v. Texas Southern @ Pine Bluff, Ark. @ 2:30 p.m.
Thu, Nov 23
94th Turkey Day Classic - Alabama State v. Cheyney University @ Montgomery, Ala. @ 2:00 p.m.
Sat, Nov 25
*Bayou Classic - Grambling State v. Southern @ New Orleans, La. @ 4:00 p.m.
Sat, Dec 02
SWAC Championship - TBA v. TBA @ Houston, Texas @ TBA
Sat, Dec 16
Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl - TBA v. TBA @ Atlanta, Ga. @ 11:00 a.m.