Name: The University of Vermont and State Agricultural College
Founded: 1791, although they didn’t actually begin holding classes until 1801. It’s considering one of the 8 “Public Ivy” schools.
That’s a thing? Sure is! The other seven are William & Mary, Miami (OH), California, Michigan, North Carolina, Texas, and Virginia.
School Colors: Green and gold.
Enrollment: 10,081 undergraduate students.
What’s a Catamount? Good question: Apparently it’s another name for a cougar. Why they chose Catamounts instead of Cougars apparently comes down to a vote in 1927 where Catamounts won out over Tomcats, Camels, and Cows. Whoever came up with the ballot options was probably fired afterwards. Can you imagine a school in VERMONT having CAMELS as their official nickname?
Location: Burlington, Vermont. Home of Ben and Jerry’s, Phish, and Bernie Sanders, everyone’s favorite Larry David lookalike. Fun fact: according to Wikipedia, Burlington is the smallest city to be the largest city in a state, coming at at 42,452 residents according to the last census estimate.
WHERE? Right there. Another fun fact: Canada, America’s Favorite Winter Hat, is only 45 miles north of Burlington.
Notable Alumni: Mark Boone Junior, actor most famous for being in Sons of Anarchy; Grace Coolidge, wife of Calvin Coolidge and First Lady of the United States; John Dewey, noted philosopher; David Franzoni, screenwriter who won the Academy Award for writing Gladiator; Rollie Massimino, coach of the 1985 Villanova Wildcats National Championship team; E. Annie Proulx, Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Shipping News and Brokeback Mountain; Martin St. Louis, NHL player; Patrick Sharp, 3-time Stanley Cup winner with the Blackhawks and 2011 NHL All-Star; Henry Jarvis Raymond, co-founder of the New York Times; Kerr Smith, best known as Jack McPhee on Dawson’s Creek; George M. Powers, former Chief Justice of the Vermont Supreme Court; Rupert von Trapp of the Trapp Family Singers; Jody Williams, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate for her work to ban landmines; and Mike Gordon, the bass player from Phish.
Stick to Sports, Kid: Ugh, fine. Did you know that the Catamounts have won 6 NCAA national titles, all in skiing? That’s neat.
No, Basketball: Oh right, that one. The Catamounts play in the America East Conference, which they won last year by going 18-0 in the regular season. They qualified for the NCAA tournament as a #13 seed and lost to Purdue 80-70 in the First Round last year.
Wait, Vermont in the Tournament Sounds Familiar: Yep. Does T.J Sorrentine ring a bell?
Didn’t He Beat Syracuse? Hell yes he did. Take that, zone defense. 2-3 doesn’t extend out to the parking lot.
Okay But That Was 2005 Are They Good Now? Yep. Coach John Becker won American East Coach of the Year and point guard Trae Bell-Haynes won America East Player of the Year and was an Honorable Mention All-American as named by the AP. They return almost every major contributor from last year’s team.
I’m a Numbers Guy, Tell Me Numbers: Okay, here’s their official stat page. Anthony Lamb, the 2017 AE Freshman of the Year, is leading them at 14.9 points per game. Trae Bell-Haynes leads them with 5.0 assists per game. Lamb leads them with 6.5 rebounds per game.
No, Like, Better Numbers. Advanced Numbers. Brad Stevens Numbers: Fine. They have an Adjusted Offensive Efficiency of 109.4, good for 65th in the nation. They have an Adjusted Defensive Efficiency of 99.4, good for 87th in the nation. They’re currently ranked 68th overall in the KenPom ratings.
They’re currently 6-2, having lost to Kentucky close to start the season and (somehow) dropping a game to Bucknell on Saturday. They haven’t really beaten anyone of high note (Yale is a good win on the schedule, but not an incredibly marquee name).
Last Season: They ended up 63rd in KenPom, they won the America East, and ended with a record of 29-5. Not too shabby, Catamounts.
Scouting Report: They can play. They have a balanced roster with experience and ability at all positions. They’re actually ranked higher in KenPom than Georgia. So it’s not exactly a gimme game. Marquette should be the better team, but we saw on Saturday against Georgia that the team that SHOULD be better doesn’t win the game on that merit. This game will have to be treated with as much respect as any other high level opponent, because if Marquette comes out lackadaisical, whooo man, it could be Saturday all over again.
The Don’t @ Me Prediction: Well, I’ve been wrong on every one of these that I’ve made this year between the two sites I write for. I’m torn. If the streak continues, I need to predict a Marquette loss so I can be wrong AND be happy about being wrong. But I don’t want the first pick I get right to be a Marquette loss. (Ponders).
Stick to your guns, Sam. I’ll take the Golden Eagles in a tight one, 75-71.
If you need to @ me, it’s @Snewb22 on Twitter. Please be nice.