March Madness 2012: The Belmont Bruins Are Dancing In the NCAA Tournament

We’ll be doing NCAA Tournament profiles for all automatic bid conference winners leading up to Selection Sunday, for links to others, see bottom of this post.

Conference: Atlantic Sun (27-7)

Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Famous Alum: Belmont is a private school located in Music City, and has a renowned music program. Famous alumni in the music world include Brad Paisley, Lee Ann Womack, Trisha Yearwood, and Stephen Curtis Chapman.

They’re Back! Belmont has only been a D-I program since 2000, but this marks their fifth trip to the tournament. They have yet to win a game, and lost last year to Wisconsin as a 13 seed.

Resume: Belmont opened the year with a 1-point loss at Duke, then lost at Memphis. They split with Marshall and Middle Tennessee State in close games, and have won 14 games in a row to end the season.

Notable Player(s): Mick Hedgepeth gives them the interior presence. Junior point guard Kerron Johnson keys the play on a dynamic offense, and Drew Hanlen and Ian Clark are both dangerous spot up shooters.

Team Style/Strengths: The Bruins are much better offensively than defensively. They rotate two senior big men in Hedgepeth and Scott Saunders, have an athletic 4-man in 6’6″ J.J. Mann, and play with the three guard lineup. They prefer to play an up tempo style.

All-Important Rankings: 58 (RPI), 25 (Pomeroy)

Projected Outlook/Seed: They could be a 12 seed but will probably fall victim to the seeding for the “First 4 games” that will slot and that line, and might get bumped to a 13 seed. Either way, they now have a year experience after that slow start against Wisconsin last year, and will be a dangerous opponent for a 4 or 5 seed.

[photo via US Presswire]

Previous Previews:

Murray State

Because you want to see it first!

Like and follow The Big Lead today!