The Battle of the Boulevard: A Brief History

Eric AdamsContributor IJanuary 11, 2010

SAN DIEGO - MARCH 16:  Head coach Rick Byrd of the Belmont Bruins addresses his team during their game against the UCLA Bruins in the first round of the 2006 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament on March 16, 2006 at Cox Arena in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

When you think about sports in Nashville, most people think about teams in the following order:

Tennessee Titans
Nashville Predators
Vanderbilt Commodores
Nashville Sounds

Tonight I am going to go against that trend. For the first time, I will attend one of the most seemingly underrated events in Nashville, The Battle of the Boulevard.

This will mark the 125th meeting between Belmont University and Lipscomb University in men's basketball. The series is special for a number of reason. Let me share a few that I found on Lipscomb's page dedicated to the series.

The rivalry is the closest geographically in the country. The schools are separated by only two miles. Here is a full list of comparable opponents:

TeamsMiles Apart
St. Joseph’s/Temple:6
Duke/North Carolina:8

Besides the short distance separating the teams, the games between the pair have been historically close. Here is a list of the most overtime games played since the 2003-2004 season:

Dayton/St. Louis:4
Butler/Loyola (IL):4
Utah/New Mexico:4

I have always heard great things about the series. This year, I also plan to attend the game when the two play at Belmont. I want to absorb the atmosphere and see what all the fuss is about.

Tonight's game promises to be a great games, with both squads tied atop the Atlantic Sun standings with 4-1 conference records.

Belmont is 9-6 on the season, with notable losses to Washington and Kansas. They don't have any signature wins, but have knocked off in-state foes Middle Tennessee and Tennessee State. The Bruins have a balanced attack with four players averaging double figures. Ian Clark leads the way with 13.9 per contest. Last week, Clark scored 31 against Stetson. He has shown that he has the ability to score 20+ on any given night.

Lipscomb is only 7-7, but seems to be playing at a higher level than Belmont at the moment. The Bisons have won five of their last seven. The two losses were to Cincinnati and Arizona. The real heart breaker was against Arizona. The Wildcats hit a last-second three to edge Lipscomb 83-82 in OT.

With tonight's game being held at Lipscomb, I expect the Bruins to come up a bit short. Either way, it should be a lot a fun. I'll have a recap of the game and festivities tonight. (Follow Dore Posts on Twitter. Click here)