What is a Catamount? Who is their head coach? Well, I'm glad you asked...
Lamar and Vermont will play in one of the First Four games on Wednesday in Dayton, OH. For a complete printable bracket, click here. Now, the logical question is: who is Vermont? Let's run through that exact question:
This season: Vermont won the America East conference, going 13-3 in conference play and beating No. 1 seed Stony Brook 51-43 to earn the conference's automatic bid. That capped a 23-win season, which marked the fourth straight year Vermont has won at least 20 games. The Catamounts had a 10-game winning streak snapped when Binghamton beat them in the second-to-last game of the season.
That's right. Binghamton. You may be familiar with that as Tony Kornheiser's alma mater, but you also may have heard of them having the longest losing streak in college basketball at 27 games. A streak that was snapped when that same Binghamton team beat Vermont, that finished 2-30 on the season.
Yeah, not good for Vermont.
Oh, and the Catamounts didn't have much luck with other teams in the NCAA Tournament, losing to Iona, South Florida, Harvard and St. Louis this season.
Stat leaders: Overall, Vermont scored 67.2 points per game this season while allowing 60.5. The team's leading scorer is freshman guard Four McGlynn, who averaged 12 ppg, shooting .393 from the field and hitting 38.7 percent of his 3-pointers. McGlynn was pretty much just an outside threat, taking 168 3-pointers on the season, which was more than his combined rebounds, steals, assists and blocks this season. He averaged just 1.6 rpg and 1.1 apg this season.
Out of the starters, 6-foot-8 senior forward Matt Glass was the overall stat leader. Glass averaged 11.9 ppg, 3.7 rpg and 1.1 apg while shooting 46.7 percent from the floor. Sophomore 6-6 forward Brian Voelkel led the team with 8.6 rpg and also is the team leader for assists per game with 5.2.
Despite averaging just 4.8 ppg, Voelkel was named the America East Championship Most Outstanding Player this season, as well as the all-conference third team and the all-conference defensive team. Glass was named to the first team while McGlynn was named Rookie of the Year.
NCAA history: This will be the fifth trip to the NCAA tournament for Vermont. The Catamounts made the tournament three straight seasons from 2003 through 2005, winning a first-round game as a 13th-seed against No. 4 Syracuse.
That was the only NCAA victory in school history, including the most recent visit in 2010. You may remember that 2005 team, with the big redheaded senior Taylor Coppenrath, who averaged 25.4 ppg and 8.9 rpg that season. Coppenrath was a National Player of the Year finalist in his senior season.
Head coach: John Becker is in his first year as head coach at Vermont. He spent the last five years as an assistant with the Catamounts under then-head coach Mike Lonergan. He was previously a head coach at Galludet University from 1997-1999.
Becker took over when Lonergan was hired by George Washington after compiling a 126-68 record with Vermont in six seasons. Lonergan took over from Tom Brennan, who retired after the 2005 season. Brennan was at Vermont for 19 seasons with a record of 264-276 there.
Mascot: What is a Catamount anyways? Well, it's basically a cougar, a puma, a mountain lion. Catamount is a regional name for them from Vermont and the mascot that Vermont has features a cat that's got a little darker coloring than, say, the University of Houston.
Matchup history with Lamar: There's really none. At least, none that I can found through 1979. So, let's say this is the two teams' first-ever meeting.