NCAA Bracket 2012: How Norfolk State Got To March Madness

Mar 10, 2012; Winston-Salem, NC, USA; Norfolk State Spartans forward Brandon Wheeless (24) and forward Rob Johnson (1) react after beating the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats 73-70 in the final of the 2012 MEAC Tournament at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Mark Dolejs-US PRESSWIRE

The Norfolk State Spartans are playing in their first ever NCAA Tournament after winning the MEAC tournament.

The Norfolk St. Spartans won the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament, punching their ticket to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in their history. The Spartans beat Bethune-Cookman in the finals of the MEAC tournament after beating Howard and Florida A&M earlier in the week.

The Spartans have experience facing tournament-caliber teams, having played Marquette twice. The Golden Eagles blew them out in the season opener by 31 points, but when the two teams played again a week later, the Spartans only lost by two.

They enter the tournament on a seven-game winning streak, but they have had a few slip-ups, losing twice to Delaware State and to tiny Elizabeth College.

The Spartans are a 15-seed in the NCAA Tournament, and they'll face second-seeded Missouri Tigers in the second round.

Join our 2012 NCAA Bracket pool to compete against the best and brightest from around the network.

For more on the 2012 NCAA Tournament bracket, stay with SB Nation's Selection Sunday StoryStream, and stick around SB Nation's NCAA Tournament hub for a complete printable NCAA Tournament bracket and tons of analysis on who was snubbed, who got the best bracket, and who will make it all the way to New Orleans and the Final Four.

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