Belmont’s season was good enough to warrant a 14 seed in the NCAA Tournament. In a building full of crowded Bruin fans, CBS announced the seeding to thunderous applause, fist-pumps, and high fives all around. But were the high-fives of real excitement at our seeding, or even our match-up? Can this even be considered vengeance for the first time we played them in the NCAA Tournament? No one can know for sure, but the general feeling around the campus was one of celebration. It was one for the thumb, after-all.
After the selection, I had a chance to catch up with Coach Byrd about Belmont’s seeding. ”We are excited about the upcoming game in Columbus, but obviously we really would have liked the 13-seed.” Coach Byrd also was pleased with the location. “Columbus is not the farthest away we have played, and I look forward to seeing our fans travel.” Coach Byrd did not expect a Nashville location due to our higher seeding, but said that the team was ready to play no matter the location. He also thanked the number of fans for turning out at the Selection Show and making this occasion such a wonderful experience.
But what about Georgetown as a team? Are they the same we matched up with during our second NCAA tournament berth? The Byrd Cage will have plenty to write about in the upcoming days, so stay tuned. But before we get to our deeper previews, i’ll repost the article we published last week about a possible 14 seed playing Georgetown by our own, Nick Broadhead.
“Here is another Big East team that has some history with the Belmont Bruins. If you remember, Roy Hibbert and company easily handled a helpless Bruin front line in the first round of the 2007 NCAA tournament. John Thompson III’s team this season may not be littered with potential first round draft picks, but talent is never a problem for the Hoyas. They are 22-7 overall are currently sitting at #11 in the AP poll, #13 in the Kenpom ratings.
This version of the Hoyas makes their living on the defensive end of the floor, and not by forcing turnovers. This grind-it-out style of play leads to a slow-paced half court game. They are surrendering only .91 points per possession and forcing opponents to shoot a measly 43.3 percent effective from the field, seventh best in the country. This slowed paced style forces opponents to be brutally efficient. The Hoyas put up these defensive numbers against the 8th most difficult schedule in the country. This does not sound like any fun…”
No, this may not be a 13-seed, or anything we were expecting- but Coach Byrd and the rest of the Bruins know what they are in for and they are hungry for their first NCAA Tournament win. Stay tuned for more in-depth coverage of the match-up as the game gets closer!