NASHVILLE, Tenn. The route may have changed, but Belmont men's basketball is dancing just the same.
After representing the Atlantic Sun Conference in the NCAA Tournament the past two seasons and five times in seven years, the Bruins will make a third-straight trip to the Big Dance. This time, though, they will do so as both regular season and tournament champions from their new league, the Ohio Valley Conference.
The NCAA tourney automatic bid comes courtesy of a thrilling 70-68 overtime win over Murray State here Saturday night in front of 4,590 at Municipal Auditorium. The Bruins (26-6) did not leave it to chance that their national Ratings Percentage Index ranking of 23rd would have been good enough to receive an at-large bid into the NCAA tourney field had they not won the OVC's automatic bid.
"These two semifinal and final games were tougher than any two semifinal games we played while we were in the Atlantic Sun," Belmont coach Rick Byrd said of Saturday's win over the Rac...