2015 NCAA tournament preview: Belmont Bruins

Belmont Bruins

Record: 22-10, 11-5 Ohio Valley

Head coach: Rick Byrd (29th season)

Season summary: Belmont wasn't exactly supposed to be in the NCAA Tournament this season. The Bruins suffered 10 losses and didn't record a single win against a tournament team. But then Rick Byrd's group got hot at the right time. They weren't blowing teams out, but they were able to string together seven straight wins to finish out the season—including the Ohio Valley Conference tournament title with an 88-87 win against then-No. 25 Murray State.

The Bruins are led by 6-foot-3 scorer Craig Bradshaw, who's 18.1 points per game was good for third in the OVC. A team with four players getting 15 minutes or more and shooting better than 38 percent from beyond the arc, Belmont can hurt opponents from long distance.

How they make a run: Bradshaw and the rest of the Bruins shock Virginia and make tough, contested shots from deep all day.

How they falter: They play like a team that finished 11th of 12 in the Ohio Valley Conference in scoring defense. That's not a promising statistic.


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