The Vermont Catmounts who won the America East Conference Tournament after finishing 2nd in the regular season conference play behind lst place Stonybrook. However, then beat Stonybrook at Stonybrook to earn the AE at-large automatic bid to the big dance where they played Lamar in one of the 4 playin games winning decisively over the Pat Knight Coach Lamarians.
Part of the “Cats” success was the very tough non-conference they scheduled. They were 6 and 8 in non conference games
They played 5 teams that made the Big Dance. losing to So. Florida by 2, Iona by 1, Harvard by 7, LIU-Brooklyn by 5 and St. Louis by 21. They also played some other good teams. They beat Marist by 9 while Maine lost to Marist at home in the bracketbuster in late February.
They beat Dartmouth, Old Dominion, Siena, Farleigh-Dickinson, Marist, Towson and lost to Yale, Qunnipac and Northeastern.
You only get better playing tough opponents who are better then you are and John Becker gets it.
Vermont lost the home seed championship game when they lost to last place Binghamton 57-53 at Binghamtonwho had not won a game before their upset of the Cats. However, the Cats bounced back with a vengence beating UMBC 80-49 in their last game of the regular season at home and then going thru the AE Conference tournament, beating Maine 50-40 in the quarter-finals, Hartford 77-73 in the semi-finals both at Hartford and Stonybrook 51-43 in the championship game at Stonybrook.