One team from each of the four black college conferences finished the 2016-17 season on top of the final BCSP Top Ten.
The North Carolina Central men (25-9), who won both regular season and tournament titles in the Mid Eastern Athletic Conference, topped the NCAA Div. I men’s Top Five.
The women of Texas Southern (23-10) tied for the Southwestern Athletic Conference regular season title with Grambling State and then knocked off the Lady Tigers in the SWAC championship game to earn the top spot for the Div. I women.
The ladies of Virginia Union (28-5) did not win the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association Tournament title but went on to capture the NCAA Div. II Atlantic Region title and make it all the way to the D2 championship game to earn the ladies the women’s Div. II top ranking.
And eventual men’s champion Clark Atlanta (21-12) was seeded second in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament and became the highest seeded team to capture a Div.
II conference title as they defeated Fort Valley State for the SIAC title. That earned the Panthers and first-year head coach Darrell Walker the top Div. II designation.
Clark Atlanta’s Walker joins another Walker, Grambling State’s now departed head coach Shawn Walker in sharing the Men’s Coach of the Year award. Shawn Walker led the G-Men to a 16-17 finish overall after finishing 7-24 a season ago. Grambling finished third in the SWAC regular season and fell in the SWAC Tournament semifinals to eventual champion Texas Southern.
VUU second-year coach AnnMarie Gilbert repeated as the women’s coach of the year as she led the Lady Panthers to their second straight Atlantic Region title and Elite Eight appearance.
This year the Lady Panthers won two games at the Elite Eight before falling in the Div. II championship game to Ashland, 93-77.