Vermont Ousted From NCAA Tournament By Top-Seeded North Carolina
Courtesy: University of Vermont Athletic Communications
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Tyler Zeller, ACC Player of the Year, tallied 17 points and added 15
rebounds to lead No. 1 seed North Carolina to a 77-58 victory over No.
16 Vermont in the second round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship
on Friday afternoon in Greensboro, N.C. Sophomore Sandro Carissimo paced the Catamounts with 11 points, as they end the season with a 24-12 overall record.
Four Tar Heels recorded double figures and North Carolina (30-5) broke open a 10-point game with 13:58 to go with a 17-4 run that made it 60-37. The Catamounts held a 42-37 edge on the glass, outrebounding a Tar Heel squad that came into the game leading the nation with a +10.8 margin.
“First I would like to congratulate North Carolina, they are a very good team. They beat us tonight and I wish them the best of luck the rest of the way,” said Vermont head coach John Becker . “Real proud of our guys. I thought we battled the whole game. We gave everything we had out there. We just needed some more shots to fall and 20 turnovers is too many against a team like North Carolina. But we battled, we left it all out there, we had a great year.”
“I want to thank my seniors, Matt Glass and Pat Bergmann 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,” added Becker.
The Catamounts kept in close in the first half and a Carissimo jumper with 5:59 left made it 19-17 North Carolina. The Tar Heels would respond with an 8-2 spurt over the next 2:03 to take a 27-19 advantage and would lead by as many as 12 at 33-21 after back-to-back layups from Kendall Marshall and Harrison Barnes.
Vermont had a tough time with Zeller, who netted 15 points and nine rebounds in the first half after going 9-for-10 from the free throw line to help North Carolina take 37-25 lead at the break. The Cats shot only 37.9 percent from the floor and went 1-for-9 from 3-point range in the first 20 minutes of play, as Carissimo led UVM with six points.
The Catamounts couldn't cut North Carolina's lead to single digits in the second half, but were only down 10 with 13:58 to go in the contest. UNC led 51-37 with 9:29 left and proceeded to go on a 9-0 run over the next 1:17 that put the game away.
Senior Matt Glass added 10 points for Vermont, as he and Carissimo each went 5-for-10 from the floor. The Cats shot 39.7 percent from the floor for the game, but struggled from long range by making only three of their 18 attempts. Senior Pat Bergmann added eight points and sophomore Clancy Rugg chipped in with seven. Sophomore Luke Apfeld grabbed a team-high eight rebounds, as 11 of the 12 Catamounts scored.
“It's hard when your season ends, but we have had a great year,” said Becker. “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.”
James Michael McAdoo tallied 17 points for North Carolina, while Barnes added 14 and Marshall recorded a double-double with 11 points and 10 assists. The Tar Heels advance to the third round to face Creighton on Sunday.
NOTES: The top seed in the NCAA Tournament improves to 111-0 all-time … The Cats played in front of a season-high 16,422 fans on Friday … Vermont played the top three scoring offenses in the nation this season, as UNC came in second averaging 82.0 points per game (Iona and Long Island) … Friday marked only the sixth time in 35 games that North Carolina was outrebounded … The 24 wins tie for the fourth-most in school history for the Catamounts … Wednesday's game was televised nationally on TBS … The Catamounts have made the NCAA Tournament five times in the last 10 years … Vermont has advanced to postseason play eight times in the last 10 years … This year marks the third time in five trips that UVM has been a No. 16 seed.