Know the opponent: Vermont Catamounts

As Florida State looks to replicate another deep run in the NCAA Tournament, their journey will begin in Hartford, Connecticut against an unfamiliar foe.

Who: Vermont Catamounts – 27-6 (14-2 AEC)

The spread: Florida State opened as an 11 point favorite. As of Monday afternoon, the spread has remained consistent around 10.5.

Series history: Florida State defeated Vermont 76-67 in their lone meeting which took place in December of 1976.

When: The ‘Noles will tip off Thursday afternoon at 2:00 pm on TBS.

How they got here: The Catamounts defeated UMBC (yes the same UMBC who knocked off #1 seed Virginia in last years tournament) 66-49 in the American East Championship game.

Common opponents: Louisville. FSU defeated the Cardinals 80-75 last month in overtime. The Catamounts fell to Louisville 86-78 early in the season.

Head man in charge: Vermont is led by head coach John Becker. Becker has been extremely impressive in his career going 193-83 in his eight seasons as a head coach, all with Vermont.

Key player(s): The name to know here is Anthony Lamb. Lamb led his team and his conference in scoring at 21.4 points per game. The talented junior put up 28 points in Vermont’s conference championship game against UMBC. Lamb was also named the American East player of the year. Two other Catamounts average double-digit points per game in guards Ernie Duncan (13.8) and Stef Smith (12.3).

Key stat: 10. That’s how many Catamounts average at least 10 minutes per game. Vermont is one of the few teams in the country who can match Florida State from a depth standpoint.

Quotable: “My guess, athletically, I don’t love it but we’ll have to see what we can do and how they score,” Becker said. “Clark Kellogg said on (CBS) that they are not a great shooting team and maybe that’s something we can exploit.”

The bottom line: Vermont is a very good and capable mid-major but should not be able to compete with Florida State for 40 minutes. The Seminoles are a double-digit favorite for a reason. If the same FSU team from Charlotte shows up in Hartford, Florida State will be playing this weekend.


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