The first crazy finish of college basketball's postseason came Monday night in the ASUN Tournament as Bellarmine used a last-second shot to upend North Florida 76-74 and advance to the second round. Juston Betz hit a turnaround jumper with 0.4 seconds left to send the Knights on to face No. 1 seed Kennesaw State on Tuesday.
In a game that featured 13 lead changes and seven ties, Betz's shot made for a fitting finish. It may also have been a telling omen for what's ahead over the next two weeks as each college basketball conference crowns a tournament champion heading into Selection Sunday for the NCAA Tournament on March 12.while three more conference tournaments will tip off Tuesday.
As the No. 8 seed in the ASUN, Bellarmine still faces a long road to cutting down nets, but Monday's finish brought some joy to what's been a challenging season for the program. After a 20-13 campaign and ASUN Tournament title last year, the Knights entered this year's tournament just 14-17 and 9-9 in the ASUN. The program is also just in the third year of the NCAA-mandated four-yearfor schools transitioning to Division I, which means the Knights remain ineligible for the NCAA Tournament.
That reality makes the conference tournament all the more significant to the program. While Betz was the late hero on Monday, Ben Johnson sustained the Knights. He finished with a team-high 26 points, including 19 in the second half.