Men’s basketball attempts history

Ê

Vermont fell to No. 1 North Carolina 77-58 on March 16, knocking the Cats out of the tournament and advancing the Tar Heels further in March Madness.  

Despite a solid performance from senior Matt Glass and a manageable halftime deficit, the Cats turned the ball over 20 times in the contest, leading to their loss.  

The Cats said they realized their competition and knew that a win would be a miracle, as a No. 16 seed has never beaten a No. 1 seed in NCAA tournament history.

“To be here in this atmosphere and have an opportunity to play one of the top teams in the country is very special, and we’re all very humbled,” said Glass. “They’re an incredible team, and we’re just honored to be on the court with those guys.”

Sophomore Sandro Carissimo believes that just the experience of playing one of the historically great programs in college basketball can serve as a method by which to grow for UVM.

“Any time you come down here and play games in the NCAA tournament, it’s definitely a great experience and it will help us in the future,” he said. “We’ll definitely take this game and learn from it and learn from all the experiences we had over the last couple days.”

Yet for seniors Pat Bergmann and Glass, the loss to UNC means the end of their time with the Catamounts. For Glass, at least, he couldn’t have asked for a better final season.

“It’s been an unbelievable ride,” he said. “All the way from the top to the bottom, it’s just such a special program and such an unselfish group of guys.”

Glass was proud of how much the team became a family, sticking together through all of the ups throughout the season – a plan that they had established from the start.

“We stuck with the plan, and it’s just a really special team,” Glass said. “The most special [team] I’ve ever been a part of and I couldn’t be happier to be ending up on the court with these guys in my last game.” 

First-year head coach John Becker spoke about growing, stressing the positive effects of the team’s experiences this year, especially as a young crew.

“It’s been amazing the growth of this team at the end of the season through league play,” he said. “Tough environments against good teams, our guys found a way – you can’t ask for a better experience that these guys have had here down the end of the season.”

Becker hopes that these experiences will carry into the offseason and he remains optimistic about the future.

“We’ll have a better understanding of everything we need to do,” he said. “I’m excited to get into the offseason and continue to move forward with this group and [I’m] so real proud of the guys.”