In its first season of Division I basketball, the Bellarmine Knights are one win away from a conference championship.
The small Louisville Catholic school was incredibly successful in the D-II ranks, winning a National Title in 2011 and advancing to the prestigious Elite Eight four times in seven seasons. Many believed the Knights could hold their own at the next level. Few thought they would be this good, this quickly.
Bellarmine’s first Division I game was at historic Cameron Indoor Arena, a loss to the Blue Devils. They won only three of their first eight games as Covid pauses prevented the team from finding momentum. Sure enough, head coach Scotty Davenport eventually got them rolling.
Bellarmine has now won ten straight games in the Atlantic Sun Conference. Today they’ll play the two-time defending ASUN regular season champs, Liberty (-3), in a winner-take-all matchup at Freedom Hall. The nationally televised game will be broadcast on ESPNU at noon.
The stakes are high for the Knights. History is on the line. It’s also a time to prove they belong in the NCAA Tournament, even if they cannot participate. NCAA reclassification rules prohibit teams from playing in the Big Dance for the first four years of their move to Division I. They may not be able to enjoy everything the Madness has to offer, but the newcomers can still show they are the best of the best in the ASUN .
One game for it all
Time to RISE pic.twitter.com/Mcj2EygzAh
— Bellarmine Basketball (@BUKnightsMBB) February 26, 2021