Belmont Upset Falls Short

Todd ParmeleeSenior Analyst IMarch 20, 2008

In a day which has yet to see an upset, the 15th seeded Belmont Bruins almost pulled off an epic one versus the second seeded Duke Blue Devils.

Belmont clung to a 70-69 lead over Duke with less than 15 seconds remaining.   

Duke's Gerald Henderson collected the defensive rebound and drove the length of the court with 12 seconds remaining.  His lay up went through the net, giving Duke a 71-70 lead. Henderson led Duke with 21 points. 

Belmont had a chance to tie it at the end of regulation after Demarcus Nelson's missed free throw.  Belmont collected the defensive rebound and called timeout with 2.2 seconds to go.    

After the timeout, Belmont inbounded the ball to Justin Hare with 2.2 seconds to go.  Hare caught the ball at half court and let a desperation three pointer go as the buzzer sounded.  The ball bounced off the rim.   

Belmont head coach Ricky Byrd's team battled ACC power Duke to the very end, losing a 71-70 heart breaker.

The loss caps a great season for Belmont Bruins out of the Atlantic Sun Conference.  Belmont finished the year as the Atlantic Sun Conference champions with a 25-9 overall record. 

Alex Renfroe led Belmont with 15 points. 

Earlier this year, Belmont defeated Cincinnati out of the Big East and Alabama out of the SEC.   

Today against Duke, the 15th seeded Bruins, who had a "happy to be here" attitude, almost pulled off one of the biggest upsets in NCAA Tournament history.

Duke now awaits the winner of West Virginia/Arizona which will tip-off shortly.