The Belmont Bruins have earned themselves an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament by beating the Murray State Racers, 70-68, thanks to a last-second shot in overtime by Kerron Johnson to take the Ohio Valley Conference tournament.
Murray State actually had the ball in the closing seconds, but a costly turnover by Isaiah Canaan with under 30 seconds to play gave Belmont the opportunity for the final shot of overtime.
Johnson held onto the ball as the time continued to wind down. After failing to find an open teammate to make a play, the guard went to his left, stopped, popped and drained the shot with under one second left.
The extra frame would not have been possible without Johnson, either.
Belmont was down by six points with under two minutes left to play in regulation, but the Bruins were able to climb all the way back to tie the game. Johnson was responsible for the game-tying field goal in the closing seconds to send the game to extra time.
Johnson has had a great season for the Bruins after averaging 13.8 points, 4.8 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 1.7 steals per contest. Along with Ian Clark, Johnson has been a major reason why Belmont is where it is after the victory on Saturday night at the Nashville Municipal Auditorium.
With the win, the Bruins emerge as the Ohio Valley Conference champions, and that will enable them to go to the Big Dance after compiling a 26-6 record this season. It wasn't easy, but Belmont certainly earned its way into the NCAA tournament.