NCAA Bracket 2012: How Vermont Basketball Got To March Madness

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.

Join our 2012 NCAA Bracket pool to compete against the best and brightest from around the network.

For more on the 2012 NCAA Tournament bracket, stay with SB Nation's Selection Sunday StoryStream, and stick around SB Nation's NCAA Tournament hub for a complete printable NCAA Tournament bracket and tons of analysis on who was snubbed, who got the best bracket, and who will make it all the way to New Orleans and the Final Four.

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