Conference: Ohio Valley Conference
How They Qualified: Ohio Valley Conference Tournament Champions
By way of a thrilling, Ohio Valley Conference Tournament championship, the Belmont Bruins are dancing for a third consecutive season. The Bruins stunned Murray State in the waning seconds of a game that needed overtime to decide a winner. Kerron Johnson buried a step back jumper with just over one second remaining on the clock, sending the Bruins to the NCAA Tournament in the process.
Belmont has now qualified for six NCAA Tournament since 2006 as head coach Rick Byrd continues to do a tremendous job with this program. This year also marked Belmont’s first season as a member of the Ohio Valley Conference and they conclude their conference slate with a regular season and tournament crown.
What You Need to Know:
Leading Scorer: Ian Clark (18.1 ppg)
Leading Rebounder: Trevor Noack (5.5 rpg)
Leading Passer: Kerron Johnson (4.8 apg)
Bad Losses: Central Florida, Tennessee State
Good Wins: Stanford, Middle Tennessee State, Murray State
Heading into the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament, there was a lot of talk about Belmont’s potential as an at-large participant, should they have lost that game to Murray State. Johnson’s game-winner laid that conversation to rest though and now there is no doubt of the Bruins’ Cinderella potential.
At 26-6 overall, Belmont has all the makings of a team that nobody wants to draw in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament. The Bruins will be a handful in the Big Dance, but can they put an end to their winless (0-5) history?
The Belmont Bruins are dancing!
Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS