Northern Kentucky Norse men's basketball
|Northern Kentucky Norse|
|University||Northern Kentucky University|
|Head coach||John Brannen (4th season)|
|Location||Highland Heights, Kentucky|
|Arena||BB&T Arena |
|Colors||Black, White, and Gold|
|NCAA Tournament runner-up|
|NCAA Tournament Final Four|
|NCAA Tournament Elite Eight|
|NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen|
|1995*, 1996*, 1997*, 2001*|
|NCAA Tournament second round|
|1995*, 1996*, 1997*, 1998*, 2000*, 2001*, 2011*|
|NCAA Tournament appearances|
|1978*, 1995*, 1996*, 1997*, 1998*, 2000*, 2001*, 2003*, 2007*, 2008*, 2009*, 2011*, 2012*, 2017 |
*at Division II level
|Conference tournament champions|
|GLVC*: 2003, 2009 |
|Conference regular season champions|
|GLVC*: 1995, 1997, 2007, 2008, 2009 |
The Northern Kentucky Norse men's basketball team represents Northern Kentucky University in Highland Heights, Kentucky, United States. The school's athletic program began a transition to NCAA Division I in the 2012–13 school year. For the first three seasons of the transition (through 2014–15), it was a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference. In the final season of the transition in 2015–16, the Norse joined the Horizon League. The Norse are currently coached by John Brannen. The program's previous coach was Dave Bezold, who had an overall record of 138 wins and 72 losses.
The program began in 1971, then known as Northern Kentucky State College, played out of Newport High School's gymnasium. The team played its first game on November 12, 1971, against Calvary Bible College; winning 109–65.
Over the past 15 years, NKU became one of the country's premier NCAA Division II college basketball programs. The Norse won three Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) Tournament Championships in 1994-95, 2002–03, and 2008–09; and GLVC East Division regular season champion in 2006-07, 2007–08, and 2008–09. In NCAA postseason play, NKU made 12 NCAA DII postseason appearances, including back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Men's Division II Basketball Championship in the 1995–96 and 1996-97 seasons.
On December 8, 2011 NKU officially announced it accepted an invitation to join the Atlantic Sun Conference and begin a multi-year transition to Division I beginning in 2012. The Norse began a full Atlantic Sun Conference and Division I schedule in the 2012-13 season, however the university was not eligible for NCAA D-I postseason competition until becoming a full Division I member in 2016.
The team's 2013-14 season schedule featured 3 marquee games against Purdue, UK and North Carolina. This was also the first season in which the team hosted Division I non-conference home games.
In their first season of eligibility, the Norse qualified for the 2017 NCAA tournament. Northern Kentucky is just the seventh school to make the NCAA Tournament in their first year of eligibility.
NCAA Division I tournament results
The Norse have appeared in the NCAA Division I Tournament once. Their record is 0–1.
|2017||#15 S||First Round||#2 Kentucky||L 70–79|
NCAA Division II tournament results
The Norse have appeared in the NCAA Division II Tournament 13 times. Their combined record is 17–14.
Regional 3rd Place Game
Saint Joseph's (IN)
Cal State Bakersfield
Fort Hays State
Cal State Bakersfield
|Grand Valley State
|2003||Regional Quarterfinals||Findlay||L 76–80|
Grand Valley State
Grand Valley State
|2009||Regional Quarterfinals||Lake Superior State||L 72–752OT|
|2012||Regional Quarterfinals||Findlay||L 49–50|
The Norse have appeared in the National Invitation Tournament one time. Their record is 0–1.
|2018||First Round||Louisville||L 58–66|
|Northern Kentucky (Independent) (1971–1985)|
|1977–78||Mote Hils||20–8||NCAA DII First Round|
|Northern Kentucky (Great Lakes Valley Conference) (1985–2012)|
|1988–89||Ken Shields[Note 1]||17–11||8–8||T–4th|
|1994–95||Ken Shields||25–4||16–2||T–1st||NCAA DII Sweet Sixteen|
|1995–96||Ken Shields||25–7||15–5||2nd||NCAA DII Runner-up|
|1996–97||Ken Shields||30–5||16–4||T–1st||NCAA DII Runner-up|
|1997–98||Ken Shields||23–7||15–3||2nd||NCAA DII Second Round|
|1999–2000||Ken Shields||26–7||16–4||3rd||NCAA DII Second Round|
|2000–01||Ken Shields||27–7||15–5||3rd||NCAA DII Sweet Sixteen|
|2005–06||Dave Bezold||17–11||12–7||2nd (East)|
|2006–07||Dave Bezold||24–9||13–6||1st (East)|
|2007–08||Dave Bezold||21–8||14–5||T–1st (East)|
|2008–09||Dave Bezold||24–7||14–4||1st (East)||NCAA DII First Round|
|2009–10||Dave Bezold||17–13||8–10||4th (East)|
|2010–11||Dave Bezold||21–9||12–6||T–3rd (East)||NCAA DII Second Round|
|2011–12||Dave Bezold||23–7||13–5||2nd (East)||NCAA DII First Round|
|Northern Kentucky (Atlantic Sun Conference – NCAA Division I) (2012–2015)|
|Northern Kentucky (Horizon League) (2015–present)|
|2016–17||John Brannen||24–10||12–6||T–3rd||NCAA Tournament First Round|
Postseason invitational champion
- Totals updated through March 7, 2017.
BB&T Arena opened in 2008 as The Bank of Kentucky Center and serves as the home arena for the NKU Norse men's and women's basketball teams. The 9,200-seat, multi-purpose arena replaced the 1,800-seat Regents Hall, which had served as the home venue since opening in 1973. Regents Hall still serves as the home of women's volleyball and the practice facility for men's and women's basketball.
The name of the current arena changed in 2015 after The Bank of Kentucky was purchased by BB&T.
- Ken Shields of Northern Kentucky University is not the same person as the Canadian basketball coach by the same name.
- Northern Kentucky University Brand Standards (PDF). January 1, 2016. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
- "Northern Kentucky University to Join Horizon League in July" (Press release). Horizon League. May 11, 2015. Archived from the original on May 14, 2015. Retrieved May 11, 2015.
- Russell, Shannon (October 24, 2004). "Bezold living his dream as NKU basketball coach". Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved December 24, 2011.
- "Men's Basketball Team History". Northern Kentucky University. November 2010. Retrieved December 23, 2011.
- "Fun in the Atlantic Sun" (PDF). Northern Kentucky University. December 8, 2011. Retrieved December 24, 2011.
- "Men's Basketball Archives: 1971". Northern Kentucky University. Retrieved December 23, 2011.
- "NCAA Men's Basketball Championship Tournament Records and Statistics: Division II men's basketball Championship" (PDF). NCAA. 2010. Retrieved December 24, 2011.
- AP Staff (December 9, 2011). "NKU jumps to Division I conference, talking with Ohio State about basketball game". The Republic. Retrieved December 24, 2011.
- Oren, Paul (March 7, 2017). "Northern Kentucky Wins #HLMBB Championship". Detroit, Michigan: Horizon League. Archived from the original on March 8, 2017. Retrieved March 8, 2017.
- "Regents Hall". Northern Kentucky University. Retrieved December 24, 2011.