The Belmont Bruins of the Ohio Valley Conference defeated one of the better ACC teams, the No. 12 North Carolina Tar Heels, 83-80. Belmont led for the majority of the game, but lost the lead late in the second half only to come back due to a spectacular trio of late 3-pointers. The Bruins pulled off the biggest upset of the year so far, but what does that mean for the rest of the season?
Belmont is one of the favorites to win the OVC, but most people haven’t considered them an actually threat when it comes to games against big teams. However, the Bruins have both the No. 14 VCU Rams and the No. 1 Kentucky Wildcats on their schedule and could cause problems for both teams.
If the Wildcats were the same type of team that they were last season, Belmont would definitely have a chance to win this game – but this is a new Kentucky. The Wildcats may be young, but they play like a veteran team and have multiple future NBA stars, including a top-three 2014 NBA Draft pick, Julius Randle. Belmont will put up a fight, but most likely won’t win this game.
On the other hand, VCU is a team the Bruins can beat. The Rams are extremely talented, but Belmont is exactly the type of team that VCU seems to have trouble with. The Bruins have the most underrated coach in college basketball, Rick Byrd, and I believe that he will be able to coach his team to victory against the Rams.
The Bruins are considered a lock for the 2014 NCAA Tournament, but if they can beat a team as highly touted as North Carolina, Belmont could be the next “Cinderella team” like Butler, Wichita State and VCU have been in the past. Belmont is an extremely dangerous team that no team should take lightly.