Belmont hopes third time’s the charm

Thursday, March 20, 2008 at 1:36am

Belmont has been through this drill before.

The No. 15 seed Bruins make their third straight NCAA Tournament appearance today against No. 2 seed Duke.

The last two seasons, Belmont has battled college basketball powerhouse No. 2 seeds in UCLA and Georgetown. In both cases, things didn’t go well for the Bruins as they lost in blowout fashion to teams that ended up going to the Final Four.

The question now is: Will today be any different?

For starters, the Bruins now have the experience of playing against top-notch teams in the tournament. They also played a number of teams from power conferences early in the season, finding some success with victories over Cincinnati and Alabama.

The Bruins have another advantage, too — senior leadership that has almost seen it all.

Senior guard Justin Hare has been a clutch player for the Bruins since he arrived on campus. Belmont seems to have the kind of game that could scare higher-seeded squads: The Bruins like more of an up-tempo game and their strength is hitting three-pointers.

Belmont also might have been a bit fortunate to land a game against Duke. The Blue Devils’ weakness is their lack of a major frontcourt threat. That means the Bruins can go strength vs. strength against Duke.

Duke is deep in the backcourt and is led by 6-4 guard DeMarcus Nelson, who averaged 15.2 points this season. But he’s not just an outside player — he averaged 6 rebounds per game this season.

Kyle Singler , a 6-8 freshman, averaged 13.6 points this season for the Blue Devils, followed by junior guard Gerald Henderson, who scored 12.3 per game.

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By: PapaLegba on 12/31/69 at 6:00

I would love to see Belmont upset Duke, that would be great.

By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

In my four brackets, I have Duke winning this game, but I would love for Belmont to screw up my bracket, because it would screw up most everybody's bracket.

By: gdiafante on 12/31/69 at 6:00

You're more likely to see id drop the "e" when adding "ing" to a word than Duke losing Belmont.But stranger things have happened...

By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

gdiafante, you are right about that!

By: chenowethp on 12/31/69 at 6:00

I can only imagine how huge a win like this would be for Belmont. Go Bruins!