LOUISVILLE, Ky. – What a ride it’s been for the Bellarmine Knights.
After finishing the regular season 17-13, the Knights cruised through competition en route to the ASUN Conference Championship, finishing a close game against Jacksonville University in the championship game to win the conference title and what should be an automatic bid for the title. NCAA Tournament.
So why aren’t the Knights dancing for March Madness?
GOOD, as we wrote previouslyBecause Bellarmine moved from Division II to Division I in 2020, the Knights are not eligible for the playoffs while they make their transition between divisions.
The rule harks back to a time before there were individual conferences in college basketball. The idea is that the powers that be, at the time, thought it would take four seasons for non-NCAA schools to get their house in order regarding compliance issues and league rules.
There is a vote in April to shorten the transition period which could allow Bellarmine to qualify for the tournament as soon as next season, but that still leaves this year’s team on the outside looking in, despite winning the World Cup title. conference.
Can anyone go to the ASUN dance?
Since Bellarmine cannot secure the automatic qualifying spot that normally goes to conference champions, that spot transfers to the regular season champion.
Jacksonville State and Liberty finished atop both ASUN divisions at the end of the regular season, but Jacksonville State’s 77-67 victory over Liberty on Jan. 29 will serve as a tiebreaker and allow the Gamecocks to advance automatically for ASUN. the NCAA tournament.
This is all a bit complicated, but here are the results of Bellarmine’s victory over ineligibility in this year’s NCAA tournament.
What do the Knights have to say about not being able to play?
The Knights have mostly taken the high road when it comes to not being eligible for the NCAA Tournament, but on Tuesday night, they took a moment of honesty to share their true feelings on the subject.
“We deserve to hear our name called,” senior guard CJ Fleming said. “We put in all the work that other teams did, maybe even more. We deserve to hear our name, but unfortunately that’s not the case. If that changes, that would be great. Bellarmine would be the guinea pig to change the rule. It’s simply unfair.
“We made it a point to control what we can control,” senior guard Juston Betz said in the postgame press conference. “As exciting as Selection Sunday is, as exciting as it would be to see our names come up on the screen, which we deserve, we’re going to control what happens next. We’re going to do it together, and we’re going to have the right attitude about how we approach things. That’s why we’re here today.
“As much as we would love the chance to make the NCAA tournament, we are just going to take advantage and enjoy the last moments we have together as a team.”
Contact Jonathan Saxon at JSaxon@gannett.com or 502-715-1393 and follow him on Twitter at @TheSleepyScribe.