2011 Atlantic Sun Tournament: Belmont Pounds UNF, Earning NCAA Tourney Bid

The Atlantic Sun's title tournament began March 2. Here's a complete bracket and schedule.

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2011 Atlantic Sun Tournament Score: Belmont Crushes North Florida, Winning NCAA Tourney Trip

Nashville’s Belmont Bruins may have benefited from a pair of upsets by North Florida, who were clearly overmatched in the 2011 Atlantic Sun Tournament championship game. Belmont likely could’ve handled anybody the conference could’ve thrown at them, but a No. 6 seed?

Belmont won 87-46, forcing 20 more turnovers than they committed, to punch their ticket to the dance. UNF battled their way to the title game by surprising ETSU and Jacksonville, but the Bruins weren’t up for any surprises.

This will make the fourth NCAA Tournament trip for Belmont, and their fourth A-Sun conference championship. In 2008 they came one score short of one of the biggest upsets ever, losing 71-70 to the No. 2-seeded Duke Blue Devils.

Successful programs don’t tend to stay in the Atlantic Sun for much longer than 10 years or so. The Bruins have been around since 2001, dominating for the latter half of their stay. With runs like this, they might need a new home shortly.

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Kennesaw State Vs. Belmont Final Score: 2011 Atlantic Sun Tournament Favorites Overpower Owls

The Belmont Bruins took a few minutes to get going, but blew the doors off the Kennesaw St. Owls over the last 30 minutes of the 2011 Atlantic Sun Tournament opener. The tourney faves won 72-57 despite trailing by seven early on.

KSU got several fast break opportunities and easy layups that it failed to convert, while Ian Clark’s long-range shooting (four three-pointers to lead the Bruins in scoring) made up for an otherwise unusually low-scoring Belmont game. However, when the Bruins are clicking, as they were for the middle portion of the game, their offense is exhausting to watch.

Sophomore Markeith Cummings led KSU in scoring, boosting his seasonal average of 18 points per game. Encouraging sign for Kennesaw State: Belmont scored only 72, their eighth-lowest total of the season. You take what you can get.

Belmont will advance to play on Friday against the winner of Lipscomb and host Mercer.

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