On a day filled with upsets, the 16th-seeded University of Vermont men's basketball team was unable to follow suit, dropping a 77-58 decision to top-seeded North Carolina in the NCAA men's basketball national tournament Saturday afternoon in Greensboro, N.C.
The Catamounts hung tough for much of the first half, but a late 18-8 run by the TarHeels put Vermont in a 12-point hole at the break. Vermont closed the gap to 10 early in the second half, but North Carolina eventually put the game out of reach.
“It's hard when your season ends, but we have had a great year,” said UVM coach John Becker in a press release on the UVM athletics website. “We're a young team, the experiences that we had this year winning a NCAA tournament game for only the second time in school history, winning our conference championship on the road, these guys are tough, tough group of guys. Battled through a lot and I just can't be more proud of them and honored to be their coach.”
Sandro Carissimo, a sophomore, scored 11 points to lead the Catamounts, who end the season with a 24-12 mark. Vermonters Matt Glass (10 points) and Pat Bergman (eight points) and Clancy Rugg (seven points, eight rebounds) all made significant contributions for the Catamounts. Glass, a Mount Mansfield graduate, and Bergman, a Rice Memorial alumus, played their final games for UVM.
Rugg, who battled Bergman for state Division I supremacy when he was at Burlington High School, is a sophomore.
“I want to thank my seniors, Matt Glass and Pat Bergman, for everything they gave to this program over the last four years, five years, and everything they have done for me personally. We're going to miss them and couldn't be more proud of them the way they played tonight,” said Becker in a press release.
A pair of Vermont media outlets followed the Catamounts to North Carolina.
Burlington Free Press UVM basketball beat writer John Fantino provided this game report, as well as voluminous insightful updates from the venue, before, during and after the game via Twitter (@JohnFantino)
Free Press photo editor Ryan Mercer also filed a photo gallery from the event.
WCAX-TV's Scott Fleishman filed this report from the venue.
WFFF-TV filed a report on fan reaction to the loss.
For even more coverage of the UVM men's basketball tournament appearance, including the box score, complete post-game quotes, a Catamount TV report and a photo gallery, the UVM athletics website has comprehensive coverage.