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NCAA Basketball

Can the No. 11 Seed Belmont Bruins Upset No. 6 Seed Arizona Wildcats?

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Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 11 seed Belmont Bruins will enter the NCAA Tournament with the word upset being on their mind, but can Belmont really take down the No. 6 seed Arizona Wildcats?

In one word: yes.

Although Arizona has had some great wins on the season and was consistently ranked in the top 25 this year, Belmont comes into this game on a six-game winning streak, including victories over Ohio and Murray State. Arizona has lost three out of its last six games, so the Wildcats have definitely been shaky as of late.

The Bruins have four players that score 10 or more points per game, including Ian Clark, who is averaging 18.1 points per game on the year. Clark has also made 99 threes this season, so he will easily be one of the most dangerous players on the court in this one.

Belmont scores the ball and then it scores it some more. The Bruins’ high-powered offense is averaging 77.2 points per game on the year, which makes it the 15th best team in college basketball in that department.

The 11-seed vs. 6-seed upset doesn’t happen every year and definitely does not occur as much as the 12-seed vs. 5-seed upset, but it is still one that is picked year after year to happen. Out of all of the No. 11 seeds, Belmont likely has the best chance to move on. Yes, Arizona is a great team with some NBA talent, but the Bruins are coming into the tournament hot and their backcourt will be very hard to stop no matter who they face, let alone the Wildcats.

 

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2015 NCAA Tournament Profile: Belmont Bruins

Record: 22-10

Region – Seed: East – No. 15

RPI: 105

BPI: 54

Conference: Ohio Valley Conference

How They Qualified: OVC Tournament Champion

The Belmont Bruins have had success in the past, but this trip to the NCAA Tournament is a bit unexpected. Yes, Belmont won a share of the Ohio Valley Conference East Division title, but Rick Byrd has had better teams during his 29-year tenure in Nashville.

Byrd is an outstanding coach and he got his team playing well at the right time. Belmont has won seven in a row, including an 88-87 upset win over OVC regular season champion Murray State in the tournament championship game.

What You Need to Know:

Leading Scorer: Craig Bradshaw, 17.9 ppg

Leading Rebounder: Evan Bradds, 7.1 rpg

Leading Passer: Reece Chamberlain, 5.9 apg

Bad Losses: at Wright State, at Jacksonville State

Good Wins: Murray State

Byrd will have his team ready to play in the big dance. He has been there before, even though many of his best players haven’t. Junior guard Craig Bradshaw is an excellent shooter, while Evan Bradds is the main interior player for the Bruins.

Taylor Barnette is another outstanding shooter for Belmont, and he hit the game-winning shot in the OVC Tournament championship. Reece Chamberlain is an outstanding distributor at the point for the Bruins.

The OVC has had some success in the NCAA Tournament recently, but Belmont is probably a long shot to win a game. However, with Byrd’s experience on the bench, they will be a tough out.

Tim Letcher is a Featured Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @TimLetcher , on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

The Belmont Bruins have had success in the past, but this trip to the NCAA Tournament is a bit unexpected.

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