Thursday, March 15, 2012

North Carolina To Face Vermont In Opening Round

McGLYNN (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Vermont (Catamounts, 10,459 students, Burlington, VT) 71, Lamar (Cardinals, 14,522 students, Beaumont, TX) 59 -- It wasn’t a question of where or when but who?  Now, the Tar Heels know that they will face the Vermont Catamounts in the opening round of the NCAA tournament Friday in Greensboro.

Freshman Four McGlynn came off the bench to score 18 points and Vermont grabbed an early lead and hung on to beat Pat Knight’s Lamar in the First Four last night.

Matt Glass added 11 points, Sandro Carissimo had 10 and Brian Voelkel had 12 rebounds.

Their only previous NCAA tournament win was a stunning 60-57 upset of fourth-seeded Syracuse by the 13th-seeded Catamounts in the first round of the 2005 tournament.

"The Syracuse game was a huge win for Vermont and the community," Voelkel said. "Obviously, we're going to come into North Carolina with a lot of confidence and hopefully we can pull off another upset and give the people of Burlington something to cheer about."

The Catamounts (24-11) shot 50 percent from the field, blending an inside presence with McGlynn's touch from the perimeter.

But the America East tournament champions will be severely tested down where the skies are Carolina Blue.

"Obviously, North Carolina is one of the best teams in the country," first-year Catamounts coach John Becker said. "They've got a roster of future NBA stars. We're just going to do what we do -- continue to play our brand of basketball."

McGlynn, the only player in all of Division I to lead his team in scoring (12.0) without starting a game and yet playing in every contest, provided punch to Vermont's offense.

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