Belmont Basketball is headed to Tobacco Road. The Atlantic Sun Champion Bruins will face Big East Champion Georgetown in the first round of the 2007 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
The game will be played Thursday, March 15 from the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Winston Salem, North Carolina. Tip-off time has yet to be determined.
Belmont (23-9) received the 15th seed in the East region. BU has won seven consecutive games – each by 15 or more points – including its 94-67 victory at East Tennessee State on March 3 to defend its Atlantic Sun Championship. Junior Justin Hare (Cleveland, Tenn.), who was named Atlantic Sun Tournament MVP for a second straight season, leads Belmont in scoring at 14.4 points per game. Senior Andrew Preston (Winchester, Ky.) and sophomore Andy Wicke (Hendersonville, Tenn.) joined Hare on the All-Tournament Team.
The Bruins led the Atlantic Sun Conference in scoring defense (64.0 ppg), field goal percentage defense (.387), three-point field goal percentage defense (.281), and scoring margin (+9.0).
As for 2nd-seeded Georgetown (26-6), the Hoyas have won 15 of their last 16 games including a resounding 65-42 victory over Pittsburgh Saturday in the Big East Championship. Georgetown is led by Big East Player of the Year and Tournament Most Outstanding Player Jeff Green, a versatile 6-9 junior forward who scored 51 points in the Hoyas’ last two victories.
Georgetown also sports 7-2 junior center Roy Hibbert, who averages 13 points and six rebounds per game.
The two teams did not have a common opponent this season. Belmont is 0-1 lifetime against the Big East Conference losing at Notre Dame to start the 2002-03 season.
Interestingly, Belmont and Georgetown each faced to teams who made it to the National Championship game last year. Belmont was a 15 seed in the 2006 NCAA Tournament, playing eventual National Runner-Up UCLA, while Georgetown was a 7 seed who lost a tight game to National Champion Florida in the Regional Semifinals.