Aug 31, 2013, 3:50 PM EST
Last year, Rick Byrd put together a schedule that gave Belmont some tough tests. According to the Nashville Tennesseean, the Bruins played the No. 2 strength of schedule – traveling to Stanford, VCU and Kansas – and ended up with a top-25 RPI in 2012-13.
Pretty impressive, but this year’s slate might be even more brutal.
Belmont, long considered to be one of the gutsiest low-major squads in the nation, will travel to Chapel Hill to battle the Tar Heels on November 17th. Then they’ll hit Rupp Arena to take on John Calipari’s loaded Wildcats on December 21st. They’re opening the season with a “road trip” to play crosstown rival and former conference foe Lipscomb and will travel to Richmond early on as well.
The Bruins get a rest of sorts when they play VCU, simply because they somehow convinced Shaka Smart to give them a return date in Nashville, so they’ll get a raucous home crowd to egg them on in the face of Havoc.
Playing in the OVC, Byrd doesn’t have much hope of gaining an at-large bid, even if his squad comes in second to fellow giant-slayer Murray State. He knows this, so these early-season tests will not only earn his program a tidy pair of paychecks, but maybe they’ll prepare the Bruins to win the OVC auto-bid again and a chance for a program-defining March win or two.
- Two-time plane crash survivor Austin Hatch scores first career point in Michigan win (VIDEO) 0
- Late Night Snacks: Temple blows out Kansas, Purdue loses to Gardner-Webb 0
- Temple embarrasses No. 10 Kansas by 25 points 0
- New Year’s Resolutions: Illinois Fighting Illini 0
- NBCSports.com Midseason All-American Team 0
- Kentucky still has one more major test to pass this season and it might not come against Louisville 2
- Tracking The Unbeatens: The showdown between Kentucky, Louisville looms 0
- Report: David Robinson’s son will be preferred walk-on at Duke in 2015-16 (VIDEO) (6)
- No. 1 Kentucky dismantles UCLA (6)
- West Virginia’s Bob Huggins torches Marshall after coach calls Huggs ‘afraid’ (5)
- Lauren Hill’s playing career over, to become honorary coach (3)
- Weekend Preview: A loaded Saturday slate highlights the weekend (3)