Belmont’s hoops rise = huge rise in freshman applications

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Belmont made its first NCAA tournament in 2006. Since then, freshmen applications have risen 70 percent.

That’s no coincidence.

A story from the Nashville Tennessean details how Rick Byrd’s team – Big Dance participants in four of the last six years – has given the Nashville-based school a healthy boost in overall interest thanks to winning games.

For example: When the Bruins nearly knocked off Duke in 2008, applications passed 3,000 for the first time. Last season’s 30-5 team that was a popular pick to knock off Wisconsin in the third round almost pushed it to 4,000.

“My sense is that the media attention we get from being in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament helps us with name recognition and giving credibility to the institution,” Anne Edmunds, Belmont’s director of undergraduate admissions, told the paper. “That puts our name on people’s radar that might not have been there before.”

An overall rise in interest is nothing new when it comes to the NCAA tournament, but it’s usually related to a team that makes a deep run. Butler and George Mason had huge jumps thanks to Final Four runs. VCU’s expect to have the same this year.

What’s interesting about Belmont is it hasn’t won an NCAA tournament. Turns out facing Duke in March can be a good thing.

(H/T: Big Apple Buckets)

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