NASHVILLE, Tenn. - - Voice of the Bruins Kevin Ingram continues his '15 for 15' countdown with memory No. 3 - the 2020 Bruins' run to conference regular season and tournament championships.
As Casey Alexander inherited the Belmont program from Rick Byrd, many wondered what the next chapter of Belmont men's basketball would look like. While Dylan Windler, Kevin McClain and Mack Mercer had graduated, expectations remained high for the Bruins to remain a championship contender and fixture on the national scene.
Resounding road wins at Boston College and Western Kentucky served notice the Bruin program wasn't taking a step back.
But as with any season, Belmont faced its fair share of adversity.
Its previous 10 regular season conference championships had come from the top of the standings from the onset. But this year, by late January, Belmont found itself in unusual and unenviable territory; three games behind Murray State and Austin Peay with five weeks of conference play remaining.
All the Bruins did was rattle off 10 consecutive wins - including five on the road - to secure another regular season crown and the No. 1 seed in the OVC Tournament.
From there, an OVC semifinal victory over Eastern Kentucky and another classic OVC Championship vs. Murray State, capped off by Tyler Scanlon's game-winning layin.
The jubilation in the locker room that followed summed up one of the most extraordinary stretches of clutch basketball the program had ever seen.
"This past season didn't come easy, and in many ways is a perfect reflection of Casey. He's a fighter, and Belmont took plenty of standing eight-counts during the non-conference and early conference season. There were plenty of doubters and people who wrote Belmont off. But the team kept playing and improving. It's what made the ultimate run that much more amazing and gratifying. Aside from all the great play from Moose and Grayson and all the guys, it was wonderful to see Mike (Benkert) and Seth (Adelsperger) have such productive and meaningful roles on this team. They experienced so much in their careers and to go out cutting the nets was sweet. We all know about Scanlon's shot, and how heartbreaking it was for him and this team not to get a chance to make some noise in The Dance. Tyler's place next to Kerron and Taylor is secure!"
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.