Belmont Men's Basketball 2020 NCAA Tournament Capsule


Belmont Bruins

Ohio Valley (26-7, 15-3)

Last season Belmont snuck into the NCAA Tournament as an at-large and beat Temple in the First Four. They nearly upset Maryland in the first round proper, falling 79-77. The Bruins have been a major power in the Atlantic Sun and now the Ohio Valley Conference and that did not change during Coach Casey Alexander’s debut season leading the program. Belmont won a share of the OVC regular season title and slipped past Murray State to reach their ninth NCAA Tournament since 2006.
Big Wins: 11/16 at Boston College (100-85), 12/28 at Western Kentucky (79-62), 3/7 vs Murray State (76-75)
Bad Losses: 11/6 at Illinois State (72-79), 1/2 SIUE (69-79), 1/25 at Austin Peay (78-86)
Coach:  Casey Alexander
Why They Can Surprise:
Belmont boasts a dynamic offense that has shooters all over the floor. Adam Kunkel leads the way with 16.5 points per game and connects on 39.0 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc. And Kunkel will take a lot of shots from long range. Tyler Scanlon is the other extremely dangerous shooter. The 6-7 forward hits 39.6 percent of his long range attempts. Fellow big man Nick Muszynski is a threat to shoot the ball too, but most of his 15.3 points per game come from inside the arc. The Bruins will also get plenty of scoring from Grayson Murphy. But he does everything else for this team too and averages 9.8 points, 7.4 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 2.6 steals.
Why They Can Disappoint:
This group has not been tested much in 2019-2020. They lost to Alabama by 20 and much of the non-conference slate turned out to be relatively easy. Over the last 15 years though, Belmont has proven that they can occasionally make these first round games very interesting. Back in 2008 #15 seed Belmont lost to Duke 71-70 in the first round and last year was even better. Few teams in the nation take more three-pointers than the Bruins and that will be the key to their NCAA Tournament success. If those shots are falling, Belmont can make things interesting. If not, just getting this far will have to be enough and Belmont can start looking to the future with a very talented sophomore trio to build around.
Probable Starters:
Grayson Murphy, Sophomore, Guard, 9.8 ppg, 6.2 apg, 7.4 rpg, 2.6 spg
Adam Kunkel, Sophomore, Guard, 16.5 ppg, 2.6 apg
Michael Benkert, Senior, Guard, 4.2 ppg, 1.4 apg
Tyler Scanlon, Senior, Forward, 12.5 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.7 apg
Nick Muszynski, Sophomore, Center, 15.3 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 1.6 bpg
Key Role Players:
Seth Adelsperger, Senior, Center, 2.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg
Nick Hopkins, Senior, Guard, 5.6 ppg, 1.2 apg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 79.6 (15th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 67.9 (137, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 47.5 (15, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.6 (99, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 9.7 (17, 1)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.2 (76, 2)
Free-Throw Percentage: 71.3 (162, 4)
Rebound Margin: 0.7 (161, 5)
Assists Per Game: 18.3 (1, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.9 (66, 1)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2019NCAAFirst Four win over Temple
2019NCAARound of 64 loss to Maryland
2017NITFirst Round win over Georgia
2017NITSecond Round loss to Georgia Tech
2016NITFirst Round loss to Georgia
2015NCAARound of 64  loss to Virginia
2014NITFirst Round win over Green Bay
2014NITSecond Round win over Robert Morris
2014NITRegional Final loss to Clemson
2013NCAARound of 64 loss to Arizona
2012NCAARound of 64 loss to Georgetown
2011NCAARound of 64 loss to Wisconsin
2009CITFirst Round win over Evansville
2009CITSecond Round loss to Old Dominion
2008NCAARound of 64 loss to Duke
2007NCAARound of 64 loss to Georgetown
2006NCAARound of 64 loss to UCLA
*all team stats through 3/8