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On Tuesday, the Bellarmine Knights made history, winning their first ASUN Men's Basketball Tournament championship. The Knights had to knock off a game Florida Gulf Coast squad, a top-seeded Liberty, and one of the best Jacksonville teams in recent memory to take home a well-earned tournament title.
Typically, the team that wins a conference tournament is guaranteed a spot in the NCAA Tournament. But Bellarmine won't be going. This is only Bellarmine's second season as a D-I program, and NCAA bylaws stipulate that schools that are reclassifying from D-II cannot play in NCAA postseason events for four seasons.
So the Knights can play in any postseason that isn't operated by the NCAA, like a conference tournament, the CBI, or the CIT. But no March Madness for a few more seasons.
A similar situation happened back in 2020. The Merrimack Warriors, in their first dang season of D-I play, went 19-11 and finished in first place in the NEC. Seeking to avoid exactly this kind of problem, the NEC prohibited the Warriors from participating in theIR conference tournament.