NASHVILLE, Tenn. - - Voice of the Bruins Kevin Ingram continues his '15 for 15' countdown with memory No. 2 - the 2006 Atlantic Sun Championship game.
The Battle of the Boulevard series between Belmont and Lipscomb is full of unforgettable moments. From the overflow crowd at Memorial Gym to consecutive buzzer-beaters from Dylan Windler and Taylor Barnette one week apart, The Boulevard rivalry is unique to Nashville and college basketball.
March 4, 2006 the programs met in Johnson City for the Atlantic Sun Championship and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, the first for either university.
And while both sides acknowledged what was at stake, reflecting nearly 15 years later, that game's importance and impact cannot be overstated.
The teams, which featured nine present or future all-conference players, shared the conference regular season title and split the two earlier meetings.
The game was tied at 31 at halftime, and Lipscomb held modest leads most of the second half.
The lead seesawed back and forth in the final minutes, before Justin Hare's conventional 3-point play with 20 seconds remaining tied the score at 58.
In overtime, Hare scored 10 of his career-high 32 points as Belmont won 74-69.
That season - and that game - truly charted a course for the next 15 years of unparalleled success for the Bruin program.
"Never was more at stake than the game in 2006 in Johnson City, with the Bruins and Bisons playing for the first NCAA bid for one of the schools. That was a truly outstanding Lipscomb team, so to see guys like Brian Collins, Dan Oliver and Adrian Jones go out like that; I know it's something that entire group will never forget. Belmont has had several 'Mr. Big Shots' but Justin has to be right up there. Remarkable how Casey was such an integral part of Belmont's first NCAA in 2006 and Lipscomb's first NCAA in 2018. That 2006 Selection Sunday party was amazing. None of us knew what we were doing or what to expect. I think that UCLA team had 27 NBA players (laughs). Start the music on Belmont Boulevard!"
Throughout July, BelmontBruins.com will unveil Voice of the Bruins Kevin Ingram's Top 15 memories of the last 15 years - a stretch of unparalleled success for the Belmont program.
Over that span, Belmont has won 358 games, 19 conference championships, earned nine NCAA Tournament bids and garnered national Top 25 poll votes.
Ingram, an award-winning broadcaster who has documented many of the most iconic moments in Belmont history, will share personal reflections with each post in the countdown.
Belmont University men's basketball has earned postseason invitations 14 of the last 15 seasons, including nine berths to the NCAA Tournament. The Bruins have won 19 conference championships since 2006 - third-most nationally over that span (Gonzaga, Kansas). Belmont is one of only six NCAA Division I programs outside the Power 5 to post Top 100 rankings 10 consecutive seasons (BYU, Gonzaga, Saint Mary's (CA), San Diego State, Wichita State). Belmont is one of only six NCAA Division I programs to win 19 or more games 15 consecutive seasons (Duke, Gonzaga, Kansas, Michigan State, San Diego State). Belmont University men's basketball boasts an NCAA-leading 17 CoSIDA Academic All-America selections since 2001 and is the only NCAA Division I program to make the NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) Honor Roll every year of existence.