Santa Clara is in the postseason for the second time in three seasons. The last time the Broncos came away with a CIT championship and three of the starters from that team remain.
Kevin Foster, Marc Trasolini, and Evan Roquemore were all in the starting lineup when they won the CIT only two seasons ago and that experience should serve them well here. It should also serve them well that they have had more than a week to recover from losing in the WCC quarterfinals to ninth-seeded LMU.
Vermont awaits in the first round of the CBI Tournament and have won five of its last seven games.
Vermont (21-11, 11-5 America East) at Santa Clara (21-11, 9-6 WCC)
Game time: 7 p.m.
Winner plays: Western Illinois-Purdue winner
Vermont does not score a ton of points. They have only scored 63 points per game, which could play into Santa Clara’s hands, but recently the Catamounts have picked up the pace.
In four of their last five wins, they have scored 73 or more points. This is a good trend for Vermont.
Part of that trend has been taking advantage of trips to the free throw line. The Catamounts have made 20 or more trips to the free throw line in six of the last seven games and are shooting 78 percent in that span.
Vermont does not take a lot of threes and will try to muscle it inside on the Broncos.
This is Vermont’s fifth straight trip to the postseason.
The Broncos have still found it tough to get a win over a team with a winning since the calendar turned to 2013.
They do have wins against Saint Louis and Pacific and while both of those wins look better now than they did then, it still doesn’t change the fact that in conference play, they did not beat a team ahead of them in the standings.
This is their opportunity to get their first win over a winning team in 2013.
LMU played tough and physical inside against the Broncos in the WCC quarterfinals and it cost Santa Clara. Trasolini was held to 10 points and six rebounds and Yannick Atanga, help out for much of the game with foul trouble, had one rebound.
The Broncos were outrebounded 37-31.
To take some of the pressure of the post players, Santa Clara will need an offensive spark from Brandon Clark and Roquemore. Clark averaged 8.1 points during WCC play and Roquemore has scored in double figures twice in the last three games.