The Vermont Catamounts are back in the NCAA Tournament in head coach John Becker's first season. Here's how they got here.
The Vermont Catamounts are going dancing yet again after a successful romp through the America East Conference tournament, culminating with a victory over top-seeded Stony Brook in Saturday's championship game. It's the second time the Catamounts have been in the NCAA tournament in the past three years, but this time, it's under first-year head coach John Becker. They'll face Lamar in the First Four for the right to face No. 1 North Carolina.
Many people's defining memory of Vermont basketball was the Catamount's win as a 13-seed over fourth-seeded Syracuse in the 2005 tournament in longtime head coach Tom Brennan's final year. This year, they're likely to earn a similar seed and will have a chance to earn the school's second-ever victory in the Big Dance.
The Catamounts went 23-11 despite a nightmarish losing streak early in the year. They lost consecutive games to Harvard, Yale, Saint Louis, Quinnipiac and Iona in a two-week stretch. Granted, with the exception of Yale, those are all good teams, but to lose that many in a row and then win 14 of their last 15 games shows an impressive resilience that those looking to pick an upset will have to love.
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