Photo Courtesy of Nick LoVerde

Vermont’s Ryan Davis puts up a floater during UVM’s first round NCAA March Madness basketball game against the Arkansas Razorbacks.

MBB reaches wins ninth America East title

March 28, 2022

UVM men’s basketball won its ninth America East tournament championship and advanced to the NCAA tournament for the eighth time.

The Catamounts’ (28-6, 17-1 America East) earned a No. 13 seed in their eighth NCAA tournament appearance. The 13 seed matches their best ever in the NCAA tournament, according to UVM athletics.

The Catamounts fell 75-71 to the University of Arkansas in the first round of the NCAA tournament on March 17.

“Obviously disappointed that our season ended, but I couldn’t be more proud of our program and the way we competed tonight,” head coach John Becker said after the loss to Arkansas.

Vermont’s 17 conference wins are the most in school history, according to UVM athletics. The Catamounts followed their regular-season success by winning their ninth America East tournament championship.

UVM’s nine conference titles are the most in conference history, according to America East.

The Catamounts led the conference in points scored and allowed the fewest points per game. UVM averaged 74.8 points per game and allowed an average of 60.7 points per game. That scoring margin ranks No. 5 in Division I, according to the NCAA website.

UVM outscored its conference opponents by an average of 16.7 points per game, according to the America East website. The Catamounts won the conference regular-season title for the sixth consecutive season.

Vermont is the first team in conference history to win six conference titles in a row, according to America East.

The team won each of their three conference tournament games by 30 or more points. UVM defeated the University of Maryland, Baltimore County 82-43 in the America East championship on March 12. 

The 39-point win was the largest margin of victory in any men’s basketball conference championship game since 1989, according to UVM athletics.

Senior forward Ryan Davis won America East’s Player of the Year award for the second consecutive season. Davis led the conference in scoring, averaging 17.3 points per game. He also averaged 5.6 rebounds per game, according to UVM athletics.

Davis made 57.9% of his shot attempts, which ranks No. 15 in the country, according to UVM athletics.

UVM’s bench is key to the team’s success, Davis said.

“A lot of the guys do a great job when they come in, there’s no drop off,” Davis said. “They really give us a run for our money in practice every day.”

Graduate guard Ben Shungu, from South Burlington, also earned a spot on the All-Conference First Team. Shungu ranked No. 3 in the conference in scoring, averaging 16.2 points per game. He also averaged 4.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game, according to America East.

Shungu recorded 19 points and six rebounds in UVM’s victory in the America East championship game, earning recognition as the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.

Senior forward Isaiah Powell ranked No. 3 on the Catamounts in scoring, averaging 8.2 points per game. Fifth-year guard Justin Mazzulla averaged 7.6 points per game.

Vermont also led America East in field goal percentage, making 49.2% of their shot attempts. UVM’s field goal percentage ranks No. 6 in the country, according to NCAA.

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