Belmont heads into the tournament as an 11 seed facing Temple in a First Four game on Tuesday. They received an at large bid after going 26-5, with a 16-2 record in conference play. Belmont’s best wins are vs Lipscomb, at Lipscomb, at UCLA, and at Murray State. The Bruins also lost a game at Purdue in a game that could’ve easily been won had they shot better from behind the arc and not allowed Purdue to get to the free throw line 24 times.
Although it’s hard to receive recognition playing in the Ohio Valley Conference, senior Dylan Windler has made a name for himself and his Bruins, averaging 21.4 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 2.6 assists. It’s seemingly impossible to disregard statistics of that caliber.
In order for Belmont to win their matchup against Temple, their offense needs to be elite, as it has been all season. For those that continue to doubt Belmont’s legitimacy as a true Cinderella story, consider these statistics: the Bruins average 88.7 points per game (2nd in Division I), and 19.9 assists per game (1st in Division I). Belmont has the potential to erupt for 90+ points any given game and they aim to make Temple their first victim.
Not only can Belmont win their First Four matchup vs. Temple, this team potentially can knock off Maryland. Maryland only scores 71.3 points per game (212th in Division I) which is 17 less points than Belmont. Not only will the Terrapins struggle against Belmont due to their lack of scoring, they are also decentralized. Without a senior that receives significant minutes, the Terps lack a leader despite having many talented players including junior guard Anthony Cowan Jr. and sophomore big man Bruno Fernando.
Belmont will be an improbable Cinderella due to their unideal position as an 11 seed in a play in game, but they have everything that it takes to pull it off. They have a pair of senior guards who combine for 37.7 points per game in Dylan Windler and Kevin McClain, and a 6’11” big man in Nick Muszynski who shoots 41.2% from behind the arc. This Belmont team is dangerous and should not be overlooked.
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