KCMax wrote:So I guess Belmont was NAIA as late as 1995, then made the jump all the way to DI like UMKC did. Except Belmont went onto win 6 conference regular season titles, and 6 tourney titles, meaning 6 NCAA tourney bids, and nearly upset Duke a few years ago. This year, they made the jump up to the Ohio Valley Conference and won that, and earned their highest seed ever, a #11, with many people picking them as an upset candidate. Belmont is a small liberal arts college in a major city - Nashville, with an enrollment of about 6000.
This is UMKC's blueprint, but UMKC has failed miserably at following it.
I'd like to say that being squeezed by KU, KSU and MU for basketball viewers hurts UMKC but Belmont has Vandy in their neighborhood also. I thought it might also be the commuter nature of the school but it's been growing as a residential college and George Mason (the ultimate commuter college) even made it to a final four a few years back. UMKC can do it, it just requires a bit more commitment from the University than the bball program has received in the past.