Belmont coach Rick Byrd hated the 3-point rule when it was first approved, and insisted he would have voted against it had he had the option 27 years ago.
Now it's the main reason his 11th-seeded Bruins are the trendy pick to knock off sixth-seeded Arizona when they open play Thursday in the NCAA tournament's West region.
Byrd says he's conservative when it comes to rules but quickly realized the excitement the 3-point shot adds and the advantage it provides his team with players such as Ian Clark, who is making better than 46 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc.
That means the Wildcats will have to step up their perimeter defense.
Record:26-6, 14-2 Ohio Valley
Coach:Rick Byrd, 27 seasons, six NCAA appearances
Last NCAA tournament appearance:lost to Georgetown 74-59 in second round (2012)
Notable wins:Stanford, Middle Tennessee, Ohio, South Dakota State, Murray State
Senior guard and team captain Ian Clark, the Ohio Valley Conference co-player of the year, is programs all-time leading scorer...