This time of year, coaches of mid-major programs who clinch a spot in the NCAA Tournament via an automatic qualifier talk a big game. Rarely do they go into the Big Dance without fully embodying and embracing the underdog role. As soon as that bid is clinched, it's on. Game face and all.
LeVelle Moton, coach of NC Central, embodies both the underdog role -- and that of a realistic.
When asked Saturday, following NC Central's 50-47 win over Norfolk State to capture the MEAC's automatic bid for the third straight season, what his thoughts were about likely slotting into the field of 68 as a 16 seed. He kept it quite real.
NC Central is a very good team. The Eagles finished third in the MEAC regular season, and knocked out first- and second-place finishers Norfolk State and North Carolina A&T this week to get back to the Big Dance. But let's be real: If NC Central faces a one seed like Duke in the first round, the Blue Devils would be favored by a couple dozen.
You know it, I know it, and hey, so too does LeVelle Moton. Props to him.