Four men's basketball programs from historically black colleges and universities will be playing in the national spotlight on Saturday. For the first time, the Invesco QQQ Legacy Classic is taking place at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
Hampton and North Carolina Central will be facing off in the opening contest at 1 p.m. ET, then Howard and North Carolina A&T will play in the second matchup at 4 p.m. ET. In between, there will be a dunk contest taking place at 3:30 p.m. ET that will feature four social creators, each of whom will be trying to win a donation to one of the four HBCUs at the event.
All the action will air live on TNT and can be streamed on Watch TNT.
Here's everything else you need to know about the pair of games occurring at the inaugural event.
Hampton vs. North Carolina Central
North Carolina Central has an experienced roster, and it's been relying heavily on its seniors to lead the way during its 5-7 start to the season. Randy Miller Jr. (12.5 points per game), Eric Boone (9.4), Kris Monroe (8.7) and Dontavius King (8.7) make up the core of the Eagles' lineup.
After opening the year with four consecutive losses against some tough opponents, North Carolina Central has been seeing better results of late. The Eagles have won five of their past eight games, and they enter the Invesco QQQ Legacy Classic on a two-game winning streak after beating Carver College and Gardner-Webb.
North Carolina Central is led by head coach LeVelle Moton, who played at the school from 1992-96. He became the head coach in 2009, and since then, he's led the Eagles to three MEAC regular-season championships, four MEAC tournament titles and four NCAA tournament appearances.
If Hampton is going to beat North Carolina Central on Saturday, the key may be its defense. The Pirates are 4-0 this season when allowing fewer than 58 points and 0-7 when giving up more than that.
At the start of the season, Hampton opened with back-to-back wins, before going on to lose six in a row. It rebounded to win two straight games against Norfolk State and William & Mary, but it lost its last game against Loyola (Md.).
During their 4-7 start, the Pirates have been led by senior forward Najee Garvin, who is leading the team in points (16.4) and rebounds (5.9) per game. They've also gotten solid contributions from sophomore guard Russell Dean, who is averaging 11.7 points per game.
Edward Joyner has been Hampton's head coach since 2009, and he led the Pirates to two MEAC regular-season championships, three MEAC tournament titles and three NCAA tournament appearances. However, the school moved to the Big South in 2018.
This will be the first time that North Carolina Central and Hampton have played since the Eagles beat the Pirates in the 2018 MEAC tournament championship game.
Howard vs. North Carolina A&T
During its 5-5 start, Howard is averaging 80.7 points per game. And it's been a balanced scoring attack featuring a handful of players who have been powering the Bison to success.
Five Howard players are averaging double-digit point totals: Kyle Foster (14.3), Elijah Hawkins (13.9), Steve Settle III (13.0), Randall Brumant (10.2) and Tai Bibbs (10.2). So North Carolina A&T could have some trouble trying to defend and stop all of them from scoring.
The Bison have lost five of their past seven games, but they've faced some tough competition during that stretch. They're coming off an 85-73 road loss to Georgetown in which they stayed close until later in the second half.
Howard is led by Kenny Blakeney, who is only in his second season as head coach. The Bison played five games during the 2020-21 campaign before canceling the rest of their contests due to health and safety concerns amid the coronavirus pandemic.
North Carolina A&T lost six of its first seven games this season, but it has now won three of its past five. The Aggies enter Saturday coming off a win, as they notched a 69-67 victory over East Tennessee State in their most recent action.
Marcus Watson leads North Carolina A&T in points (12.7) and rebounds (5.8) per game. The power forward is in his first season with the Aggies after transferring from New Mexico State. He had previously transferred there from Oklahoma State, where he began his college career.
North Carolina A&T is in its second season under head coach Willie Jones, who led the Aggies to an 11-10 record during his first year at the helm.
This will be the first time that Howard and North Carolina A&T have played since March 2020.