Matt Glass #34 and Luke Apfeld #2 of the Vermont Catamounts celebrate after they won 71-59 against the Lamar Cardinals.
The play-in game to decide who UNC faces on Friday is in the books, and the Tar Heels will be facing the Vermont Catamounts. They shot a precise 50% from the field, pulled away in the first half and never looked back, while Lamar couldn't get anything going in the paint. And when you shoot as few three-pointers as Lamar does, that's going to be a problem.
The game was slow, with under 60 possessions, and as my fiancée put it after a few minutes of watching, "it looks like a high school game." Both of those things bode well for the Tar Heels, who should be able to run the Catamounts out of the building. UNC was the trendy – for very, very small values of trendy – pick to be the first one-seed to lose to a sixteen-seed, but that was based on Lamar being one of the strongest sixteen-seeds in tournament history. Vermont isn't quite as highly thought of, an although they rely on the three a little more than Lamar does, they only attempted eleven tonight, making four.
Vermont's leading scorer was their freshman Four McGlynn; he's led the team all season despite not being a starter, and he finished with eighteen points and three of the team's threes. Everything else went through Brian Voelkel, who led the team in rebounds (12) and assists (7). At 6'6", he's going to have a lot more trouble getting those boards against Carolina.
Vermont, of course, is famous for upsetting Syracuse when the Orange were a two-seed and the Catamounts a fifteen (also for syrup). Somehow how I don't see UNC succumbing to the same fate. More on this tomorrow, of course, when we have a better idea whether John Henson will play.