Welcome to the Madness

 

The UVM pep band played “Sweet Caroline” amidst the celebration as the Catamounts stayed alive with a crucial win.

Behind a game-high 18 points by first-year Four McGlynn, the Catamounts solidified a 71-59 First Four win over Lamar University to advance past the first round of the NCAA tournament for the second time in program history.

            Sophomore Brian Voelkel tore down a team-high 12 rebounds, adding seven assists to aid in the Cats’ victory.

            Vermont turned the ball over only once in the second half, five times in the entire game, while holding Lamar to a 33.3 shooting percentage.

            “They were a solid defensive team,” admitted Lamar’s leading scorer, senior Mike James.

            First-year Lamar coach Pat Knight had high hopes at the start of the matchup, but was never able to keep up with the strong and momentous Vermont.

            “I was hoping to get off to a big lead, and maybe sustain it,” he said. “The game was over at the end of the first half. They are a hard team to come back on.”

            While the UVM pep band played in celebration, the TruTV announcer coined a Four-inspired term for his recent domination: “Lynnsanity.”

            “He’s not a normal freshman,” said head coach John Becker of McGlynn. “He’s got a lot of confidence … He’s a special player.”

            As a first-year coach, Becker has a lot to mark as achievements already and his success is only starting.

            “This is one for all the UVM players and coaches that got us where we are today,” he added.

The Cats journey up to this point was a long one, as they faced perhaps an even larger challenge in the America East championship game at Stony Brook.

They held the Seawolves to a 29.3 shooting percentage, the lowest in America East Championship game history, to pull a 51-43 upset over the No. 1 seeded Stony Brook.

McGlynn, the America East Rookie of the Year, was again the highest scorer, racking up 14 points.

The Most Outstanding Player of the game, Voelkel, added game-highs of 15 rebounds and seven assists to advance Vermont into the NCAA tournament for the fifth time in school history.

“It’s a surreal feeling right now,” said Becker. “I couldn’t be more proud of our guys.”

The Cats will now travel to Greensboro, NC on March 16 to face the No. 1 seeded North Carolina in the second round of the NCAA tournament.