Conference: American East
Coach: John Becker
Record: 29-5 (16-0 1st)
Ratings and Rankings:
– Kenpom: 60
– RPI: 49
– AP/USA Today: N/A
Seeding: The Catamounts have won 21-straight game, but are likely headed for something around a 13-seed.
Names you need to know: Vermont gets it done with a balanced approach, with five players averaging at least eight points and none more than 12.6. Anthony Lamb (12.6), Payton Hansen (11.2) and Trae Bell-Haynes (11.2) are the leading scorers with Lamb and Hansen also the team’s top rebounders.
Stats you need to know: Vermont almost doesn’t miss near the basket. The Catamounts are eighth in the country in 2-point shooting percentage at 56.3 percent. They do it with a methodical offense that ranks 311th in tempo, per KenPom.
Big wins, bad losses: They knocked off American East third-place team Albany three times and second-place Stony Brook twice to go undefeated in conference play and clear the league by four games. A home lost to Northeastern is the only blemish on the resume.
How’d they get here?: Only five games of Vermont’s 21-game winning streak have been decided by single digits. In the American East tournament, the Catamounts blasted Maine by 45 and New Hampshire by 33 before outlasting the Great Danes, 56-53, in the title game.
Outlook: Vermont hasn’t been tested much during its conference season, but the Catamounts’ dominance can’t be totally overlooked. Their lack of 3-point shooting means they’ll need their defense to come up big when matched up with a superior team – they can’t count on a hot shooting night propelling them to an upset. They’ll have to do it by locking down and being efficient on offense.
How do I know you?: The Catamounts’ lone NCAA tournament victory came in 2005 when they knocked off fourth-seeded Syracuse in overtime.