Location: Nashville, Tenn.
Conference: Ohio Valley
Coach: Rick Byrd
Record: 22-10 (11-5 OVC)
Kenpom ranking: 149
Good wins: vs. Murray State
Bad losses: vs. Wright State (x2) vs. Jacksonville State
Tournament appearances: 7 (Most recent appearance: 2013)
Best result: No tournament wins
NBA alumni: Ian Clark
Best name: Mack Mercer
Celebrity alumni: Brad Paisley, Trisha Yearwood
The favorite out of the Ohio Valley Conference was Murray State, who went 16-0 in conference play, including a convincing win over Belmont in regular season play. But the Bruins upset the Racers in a thrilling conference championship game, with Taylor Barnette drilling a fadeaway three with a few ticks left to pull an upset and steal a tourney bid. The Bruins were no slouches, finishing first in the OVC's East division.
Style of play: B3lmont
Rick Byrd has coached the Bruins for 29 years, since they were an NAIA team, with over 600 wins at the school, and his style hasn't changed a bit: take threes, make threes, defense optional. Thirty-eight percent of the team's field goals are threes, fourth most in college hoops. The team is actually really efficient inside the arc, too -- 6'7 center Evan Bradds shoots almost 70 percent from the field -- but you can tell Byrd dies a bit inside when his team shoots twos.
Junior guard Craig Bradshaw is a pure scorer who makes the Bruins click. He's a gunner -- he shoots 42 percent from deep, and took almost 200 threes on the year -- but the 6'3 Nashville native is effective enough scoring off the dribble that opposing defenses can't just put five guys on the perimeter. He's capable of outbursts like a 42-point night against Ohio, which he capped with a game-winning floater.