BRUINS TO CHARLOTTE
After a dramatic and unexpected victory to claim the Ohio Valley Conference championship, the Belmont Men's Basketball team won an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. These images are highlights from the Bruins victory against Murray State as well as their trip to Charlotte for the NCAA Tournament.
In what was one of the most exciting college basketball games of the 2014-2015 season, the Bruins defeated Murray State on a last-second three-pointer made by Taylor Barnette. Incidentally, Belmont would eventually be matched against Virginia, the school where Barnette started his college basketball career before transferring to Belmont.
This is Taylor Barnette's game-winner as seen on ESPN2:
Ten days after their OVC Championship, the Bruins boarded a charter flight to Charlotte, North Carolina on a Wednesday, where they were scheduled to play Virginia in the first round of the NCAA Tournament the following Friday.
Thursday was a practice day for the team. After breakfast, they held a closed practice at Johnsons and Wales University, a small college in Charlotte. Following the closed practice, the team held a required public practice at Time Warner Cable Arena in downtown Charlotte, where the tournament games would be held. CBS sportscasters, Jim Nantz, Bill Raftery, and Grant Hill were in attendance.
The Virginia Cavaliers came into the game against the Bruins as one of the best teams in the entire country. Known particularly for their defense, the Cavs were given a number-two seed in the tournament, though many thought they deserved a number-one seed. The matchup was particularly difficult for the Bruins. Despite this, Belmont kept the score close for the entire contest. It was one of the best NCAA Tournament performances the Bruins had ever given to that point, though a loss sent the program to 0-7 in NCAA Tournament play.
POSTGAME, BACK HOME
After the loss, the Bruins fulfilled their postgame media obligations (at the NCAA Tournament, these are numerous), and made the short flight back to Nashville the next morning.