It’s been a banner year for the Bellarmine Knights’ men’s basketball team, with only two losses this year, on Saturday the Knights claimed their first NCAA championship. While so many in the country are focused on the division I tournament the Knights proved their own legitimacy on CBS.
The Louisville based Knights have been a force to be reckoned with this year both in and out of their Knights Hall home; and in Springfield, Massachusetts over the weekend it was no different as they grabbed a hard fought victory over the (7) Brigham Young- Hawaii Seasiders.
It was a decidedly sloppy game, and both teams came out with nerves and intensity on high; a combination that went in favor of BU.
Over two thousand fans crowded into the MassMutual Center to witness the Knights’ first championship, for a game dubbed by NCAA media as the Underdog versus the Steady, and in many regards these titles were the deciding factor.
Going into the tournament Bellarmine was ranked the number two team in the country behind only West Liberty, and were early favorites.
Meanwhile the Seasiders weren’t convinced at the onset that they would make it into the post-season at all. They were invited as a seven seed, shocking team after team with decisive victories, most notably against the undefeated West Liberty, a victory that put them in the championship game.
Bellarmine was led by All-American and Jeffersonville native Jeremy Kendle and Louisville native Chris Dowe, both of whom grabbed 16 points apiece in the game, Newburgh’s Luke Sprague also delivered with a double/double, grabbing ten points and eleven rebounds. Other stand-outs include, Cincinnati’s Nick Holmes, New Albany’s Braydon Hobbs, and Justin Benedetti, also a New Albany native who with Kendle, warranted an invite to the all-tournament team.
Photo: Courtesy P.Crush- Bellarmine Athletics