We’ll be doing NCAA Tournament profiles for all automatic bid conference winners leading into the NCAA Tournament. See below for previous team profiles.
Conference/Record: Ohio Valley (26-6)
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Famous Alums/Attendees: 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.
Random Fun Fact: Rick Byrd has been coaching Belmont since 1986, when they were a NAIA school, and won the NAIA national championship in 1989.
Tournament History/Most Recent: This is Belmont’s sixth trip, and they have been pre-tournament darlings of late, but have yet to win a game, losing last year to Georgetown, and to Wisconsin two years ago.
Record vs. Projected At-Larges and Bubble Teams: 3-2
Good Wins/Bad Losses: Belmont won on the road at Stanford and beat Middle Tennessee. They lost to VCU by 10 and were handled by Kansas by 29 points. Losses to Tennessee State and Northeastern are the worst on the list.
Notable Player(s): Kerron Johnson, who hit the game winner in the OVC championship game, is now a senior and has been a key part of Belmont’s three straight tournament appearances. [Update: Everyone has let me know that I should include his partner Ian Clark, co-player of the year with Murray State's Isaiah Canaan. Sorry, Belmont fans]
All-Important Rankings: 19 (RPI), 47 (Pomeroy), 23 (Seven Overtimes)
Outlook/Seed: Belmont’s RPI is in the top twenty, but with a best win being on the road at Stanford or over Middle Tennessee, I don’t think they can expect a seed anywhere near that range. They are a wildcard when it comes to how the committee will slot them, but the more likely scenario is somewhere between a 10 and 12, subject to being moved around on the seed lines based on accomodating at-larges and conference conflicts.
[photo via US Presswire]
Previous Team Profiles: