Apr 2, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; Kentucky Wildcats players Anthony Davis (23) and Terrence Jones (3) react during the second half in the finals of the 2012 NCAA men's basketball Final Four against the Kansas Jayhawks at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE

NCAA Championship Game 2012: Kentucky Defeats Kansas, 67-59

Anthony Davis was held scoreless in the first half and finished with six points on 1-of-10 shooting, 16 rebounds and six blocks as the Kentucky Wildcats defeated the Kansas Jayhawks, 67-59, in the 2012 NCAA Championship Game on Monday.

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Printable NCAA Bracket 2012: Kentucky Is The Last Team Standing

The favorite to win the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament did so Monday, as the Kentucky Wildcats downed the Kansas Jayhawks 67-59 in the National Championship Game in New Orleans, LA. And though most fans were out of the running after March Madness' first weekend of action, at least, many college hoops enthusiasts were correct on their championship game selections.

Now, if you're one of the few people that earned the crown in their office's bracket contests and you'd like a nice, clean updated printable bracket, click on the link and SB Nation will priovided you with one.

Meanwhile, here's SBNation.com's reaction to UK winning it all:

Kentucky Wildcats are National Champions (via sbnation)

For more 2012 NCAA Tournament coverage, follow our StoryStream. Also visit SB Nation for more March Madness coverage. Printable bracket can be viewed by clicking here.


Printable NCAA Bracket 2012: Kentucky, Kansas To Meet In National Championship Game

The 2012 NCAA Tournament's National Championship Game match-up was finalized Saturday, as the Kentucky Wildcats and Kansas Jayhawks both earned victories in their respective semifinal contests in New Orleans, LA. The top-seeded Wildcats outlasted the Louisville Cardinals, 69-61, while the No. 2 Jayhawks used a come-from-behind effort to edge the Ohio. St. Buckeyes, 64-62, in the night cap.

The results officially trimmed the March Madness field from 68 teams to two, and only one will be standing after Monday's National Title Game (9:23 p.m. ET on CBS). If you'd like to see how everything has played out, SB Nation has an updated printable bracket at its NCAA Tournament homepage.

Currently, Kentucky is a 6-point favorite to win the crown, while Kansas will be looking for its first national title since 2008.

For more 2012 NCAA Tournament coverage, follow our StoryStream. Also visit SB Nation for more March Madness coverage. Printable bracket can be viewed by clicking here.


NCAA Final Four 2012, Ohio State Vs. Kansas Final Score: Jayhawks Advance With 64-62 Victory

Junior forward Thomas Robinson scored a game-high 19 points Saturday to help the Kansas Jayhawks come-from-behind to defeat the Ohio St. Buckeyes, 64-62, in a thrilling NCAA Tournament Semifinal contest in New Orleans, LA. The Jayhawks (32-6) overcame a nine-point, halftime deficit to advance to the National Championship Game, where they will face the Kentucky Wildcats on Monday (9:23 p.m. ET on CBS).

Trailing 59-56 with 2:22 remaining in regulation, Kansas used a small 6-0 run to take a 62-59 lead with 1:08 to go. From there, Kansas relied on its defense and two free throws from Tyshawn Tyalor (10 points) to cement a trip to the title game for the first time since 2008, when they defeated the John Calipari-led Memphis Tigers.

Ohio State was paced by senior guard guard William Buford's 19 points, while sophomore center Jared Sullinger tallied scored 13 points and collected 11 rebounds in probably his final game in a Buckeye uniform.

For more 2012 NCAA Tournament coverage, follow our StoryStream. Also visit SB Nation for more March Madness coverage. Printable bracket can be viewed by clicking here.


NCAA Final Four 2012, Kentucky Vs. Louisville Final Score: Wildcats Outlast Cardinals, 69-61

Led by Anthony Davis' 18-point, 14-rebound, five-block performance Saturday, the top-seeded Kentucky Wildcats outlasted the Louisville Cardinals, 69-61, in a NCAA Tournament Semifinal contest in New Orleans, La. The victory helps the Wildcats move onto the National Championship Game, where they will take on either the Ohio St. Buckeyes or Kansas Jayhawks on Monday.

Louisville gave it their best shot, however, the high-powered offense of blue-grass rival Kentucky was too much to overcome. The Wildcats made 55-percent of its shots to overcome a 37-31 rebound margin that favored the Cardinals. Sophomore guard Doron Lamb scored 10 points and senior guard Darius Miller added 13 off the bench for the Wildcats, who move onto the title game for the first time since 1998.

Junior guard Peyton Siva paced the Cardinals with 11 points, while freshman forward Chane Behanan added 10.

For more 2012 NCAA Tournament coverage, follow our StoryStream. Also visit SB Nation for more March Madness coverage. Printable bracket can be viewed by clicking here.


NCAA Bracket 2012 Printable: Two Down, Two To Go; Final Four Set Sunday

The NCAA Tournament is halfway to finalizing its Final Four, as the Ohio St. Buckeyes and Louisville Cardinals both advanced to New Orleans, La. on Saturday. Up next, are four more programs -- Kentucky Wildcats, Baylor Bears, North Carolina Tar Heels and Kansas Jayhawks -- play its Elite 8 games and will be trying to be the ones cutting down the nets in their respective regional finals.

For those men's college hoops fans still alive in their bracket contests, well, congrats. However, if you an updated bracket, print one out here. Meanwhile, here's Sunday's Elite Eight game times and TV schedule.

Sunday, March 25

Baylor vs. Kentucky, 2:20 p.m. ET, CBS
Kansas vs. North Carolina, 5:05 p.m. ET, CBS
The winners advance to the NCAA Tournament's Final Four.

For more 2012 NCAA Tournament coverage, follow our StoryStream. Also visit SB Nation for more March Madness coverage. Printable bracket can be viewed by clicking here.


March Madness Schedule 2012: Sunday's Game Times, TV Schedule

Sadly, the opening week of the NCAA Tournament will conclude Sunday, as the conclusion of eight games will decided which college basketball program will move on to the Sweet 16. The six day of March Madness will begin with the No. 11-seed N.C. State Wolfpack playing the No. 3 Georgetown Hoyas at 12:15 p.m. on CBS, while it will conclude with No. 6 Cincinnati Bearcats and No. 3 Florida St. Seminoles at around 10 p.m. on TBS.

Also playing Sunday, will be Round of 64 Cinderella's, No. 15 Norfolk St. Spartans and Lehigh Mountain Hawks, while either No. 13 Ohio Bobcats and No. 12 South Florida Bulls will move onto the tournament's second week when they face each other at 7:10 p.m. on TBS.

Overall, here's Sunday's NCAA Tournament TV schedule:

N.C. State vs. Georgetown, 12:15 p.m. on CBS
Announcers: Tim Brando and Mike Gminski

Saint Louis vs. Michigan St., 2:45 p.m. (tentative) on CBS
Announcers: Tim Brando and Mike Gminski

Creighton vs. North Carolina, 5:15 p.m. on CBS
Announcers: Jim Nantz and Clark Kellogg

Norfolk St. vs. Florida, 6:10 p.m. on TNT
Announcers: Marv Albert, Steve Kerr and Craig Sager

Ohio vs. South Florida, 7:10 p.m. on TBS
Announcers: Ian Eagle and Jim Spanarkel

Lehigh vs. Xavier, 7:45 p.m. (tentative) on truTV
Announcers: Jim Nantz and Clark Kellogg

Purdue vs. Kansas, 8:40 p.m. (tentative) on TNT
Announcers: Marv Albert, Steve Kerr and Craig Sager

Cincinnati vs. Florida St., 9:40 p.m. (tentative) on TBS
Announcers: Ian Eagle and Jim Spanarkel

For more on the 2012 NCAA Tournament bracket stick with SB Nation's NCAA Tournament hub for a complete printable NCAA Tournament bracket and tons of analysis on every March Madness game.


NCAA Tournament 2012, (8) Iowa State Vs. (9) UConn Final Score: Iowa State Crushes UConn 77-64

UConn's (20-14) season came to a close as the Huskies turned in another middling performance, but this time with their season on the the line. After winning two games in the Big East Tournament to ensure their bid to the NCAA Tournament, the Huskies struggled mightily against Iowa State (23-10) in a 77-64 game, that seemed much worse.

Sophomore guards Jeremy Lamb (22 points) and Shabazz Napier (19 points) led the Huskies who struggled to compete with the Cyclones in the paint. Outside of freshmen guard Ryan Boatright (nine points), no UConn player managed to connect on more than two field goals.

Starting big men Andre Drummond and Alex Oriahki finished with a combined four points and six rebounds, as the pair struggled all evening long. Overall the Huskies lost the battle on the boards 37-20 and allowed the Cyclones to shoot 47 percent (26-of-55) with the majority of the points coming in the paint.

Senior guard Chris Allen poured in a game-high 20 points on 6-of-12 shooting for Iowa State. While senior Scott Christopherson and sophomore Royce White added 15 points apiece. White finished with a double-double with 11 rebounds and also added two assists.

The Cyclones jumped out to a 36-14 lead after 13 minutes, behind a 34-11 run, after UConn grabbed their only lead of the game at 5-4. While the Huskies were able to cut into the deficit and make it a 10 points game at halftime (42-32), they still struggled to show any consistency.

Second half action was much of the same, as the Huskies would put together mini spurts, only to have Iowa State respond with a bigger run of their own. Boatright cut the Iowa State to 58-52 with 8:26 to play on a 3-pointer, but the Cyclones responded with a 7-0 run. In fact over the Huskies would fail to score for the next 5:40 seconds and made their next field goal a full six minutes later.

Iowa State closed the game with 12 straight made free throws to put the Huskies away and end the careers of seniors Ethan Waite, Kyle Bailey and P.J. Cochran. While none of the three players saw a lot of action this year, Jim Calhoun may lose some of his stars like Lamb and Drummond to the NBA Draft this summer.

The Cyclones will take on (1) Kentucky Saturday, after the Wildcats skated by (16) Western Kentucky 81-66.


NCAA Tournament 2012, Harvard Vs. Vanderbilt Final Score: Harvard Gives Vandy Late Scare But Falls 79-70

After trailing by as many as 18 points late in the second half, (12) Harvard (26-5) put a scare in (5) Vanderbilt (25-6) before eventually falling 79-70.

In the team's first tournament appearance since 1946, the Crimson came out slow but managed to grab a 20-17 lead with 5:32 to play in the first half. It was all downhill over the next 20 minutes, as the Commodores used a 16-3 run to end the half to grab a 33-23 lead and they kept extending it in the second stanza.

Harvard trailed 62-54 with 7:52 to play but used a 22-9 run over the next six minutes to cut the deficit to five, before eventually bowing out in the third ever NCAA Tournament game (0-3). The Crimson held Vanderbilt without a field goal over the final 5:32 and were able to thrill the fans in Albuquerque behind the exploits of sophomore guard Laurent Rivard.

Rivard knocked down six-of-seven 3-point shots and finished with a team-high 20 points for the Crimson. Junior forward Kyle Casey added 13 points and five rebounds before fouling out and junior guard Brandyn Curry chipped in with 12 points.

The trio form a solid core of players that will be returning for Tommy Amaker next season, as the roster featured just three seniors. Captains Keith Wright and Oliver McNally were the team's leaders and helped turn the program around but both saw themselves surpassed slightly this season by younger players like Casey, Curry and Rivard. Alexander Van Nest was the third senior but he has been injured all season long and has not played.

Junior guard John Jenkins made sure the Commodores would not suffer their third straight first round exit with 27 points on 7-of-12 shooting. Point guard Brad Tinsley added 15 points and four assists and senior forward Jeffrey Taylor poured in 15 points for Vanderbilt.

The Commodores were able to build their big lead behind strong 3-point shooting, as Vanderbilt knocked down eight 3-pointers on just 18 attempts (44.4 percent). Vanderbilt's size and length advantage enabled them to dominate on both sides of the ball, as the Harvard bigs struggled against the size of Festus Ezeli in the paint and the longer wing players for Vanderbilt.

Vanderbilt will take on (4) Wisconsin Saturday afternoon in the Round of 32, after the Badgers knocked off (13) Montana 73-49.


NCAA Tournament 2012: SB Nation Boston March Madness Live Chat

March Madness begins in full on Thursday afternoon, and SB Nation Boston has you covered with our live chat for all of the action from day one of the 2012 NCAA Tournament. UConn, Harvard and Vermont are representing New England in the big dance, with both the Huskies and Crimson tipping off Thursday. Vermont won its first game against Lamar in the First Four round on Wednesday, setting up a date with North Carolina in the second round.

What's it going to take for the three New England teams to win it all? Seth Orensky, our college basketball writer, will be chatting live starting at noon Eastern to answer all of your questions. Plus, we have all of your March Madness coverage all throughout the tournament with our StoryStream. We hope you enjoy!

For more 2012 NCAA Tournament coverage, follow our StoryStream. Also visit SB Nation for more March Madness coverage. Printable bracket can be viewed by clicking here.


NCAA Tournament 2012, Iowa State Vs. UConn: Huskies Look To Earn Date With Kentucky

In one of the most intriguing matchups of the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament, Jim Calhoun and No. 9 seed UConn (20-13) will look to down No. 8 seed Iowa State (22-10) Thursday night at 9:20 p.m. EDT at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville. TBS will air the game with Leslie Visser and Bill Raftery, joining Verne Lundquist on the broadcast.

While UConn is coming off a national championship run last year that culminated with a victory over Butler, Iowa State is making their first appearance since 2005. The Cyclones have made 14 trips to the Big Dance including one appearance in the Final Four (1944) and an Elite Eight berth in 2000. In 2005, the Cyclones took down (8) Minnesota, before falling to top seed UNC in their second game.

Last year the Huskies won their final 11 games en route to a Big East Tournament Title and an NCAA Tournament Title. The third seeded Huskies knocked off (14) Bucknell and (3) Cincinnati in Washington D.C., before getting by (2) San Diego State and (5) Arizona in Anaheim. After only winning by two (65-63) in the Elite Eight, UConn had to overcome a 10-point halftime deficit to fend off (4) Kentucky 56-55. The Championship Game was nowhere near as stressful, as Jim Calhoun celebrated his third career title after a 53-41 victory over (8) Butler.

The 2011-12 edition of the Huskies is a far cry from the UConn squad that won the national championship a year ago. While the program did lose Walker and three seniors who played smaller roles, the bigger problem this year has been inconsistencies from the remaining pieces of the championship squad.

Sophomore guards Jeremy Lamb and Shabazz Napier have led the team offensively all year and have been the team's best options in trying to replace Walker's production. Lamb is a big-time NBA prospect as he leads the team with 17.7 points and has added 4.9 rebounds and 1.75 assists per game. Napier leads the team with 5.8 assists and over four free throw attempts a game, to go along with his 12.7 points per game. While the pair both have the ability to take over games, they've struggled to consistently be aggressive and work together in the confines of Calhoun's offense.

Freshmen Andre Drummond and Ryan Boatright have both lived up to their billings as well. Drummon arrived on campus as one of the top players in his class and showed why with 10.2 points and team-high 7.7 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game. His much smaller classmate has averaged 10.5 points and 4.1 assists when he's been in the lineup. Boatright has missed nine games this year and has struggled to get into the rhythm of things, after two seperate suspensions due to NCAA investigations.

Captain Alex Oriakhi has been one of several players who have struggled mightily after facing high expectations. The junior forward has managed to average 6.8 points and 4.8 rebounds in 33 games after averaging 9.6 points and 8.7 rebounds as a sophomore. Role players Roscoe Smith and DeAndre Daniels have also struggled, as the Huskies primary three bench players (Tyler Olander) have provided little support for the starting five.

Former top prospect Royce White has blossomed in his first season at Iowa State. The dynamic Minnesota transfer has led the Cyclones with 13.1 points, 9.2 rebounds, 5.1 assists and .9 blocks per game and has helped completely turn the program around under second-year head coach Fred Hoiberg.

Fellow transfers Scott Christopherson and Chris Allen have joined White in helping Iowa State make the quick turnaround. Christopherson started his career at Marquette, but the junior has found a home in Ames, Iowa; he's second on the team with 12.5 ppg and leads the team in 3-point field goal percentage (45 percent) and free throw shooting (89.5 percent). Allen is also a redshirt senior but is in his first year as a Cyclone after beginning at Michigan State. The 6'3" guard has averaged 11.8 points and connected on a team-high 72 made 3-pointers.

Redshirt junior Chris Babb (a Penn State transfer) and sophomore forward Melvin Ejim round out the starting lineup for Hoiberg's squad. Junior college transfer Tyrus McGee adds another veteran presence off the bench as Hoiberg has led the team a 15-17 team when he took over in 2010, to a fourth place finish in the Big 12 this year.

The key to Thursday night's matchup will likely be the paint. While UConn has slightly more size with Drummond, Oriakhi and Olander, the Huskies frontcourt have allowed more physical and hungry teams abuse them throughout the season. If Oriakhi and Drummond can hold their own and keep the rebounding totals close, UConn should be able to move on due to their superior backcourt.

For more 2012 NCAA Tournament coverage, follow our StoryStream. Also visit SB Nation for more March Madness coverage. Printable bracket can be viewed by clicking here.


NCAA Tournament 2012, Harvard Vs. Vanderbilt: Crimson Look For First Ever Tournament Victory

Harvard (26-4) will play its first NCAA Tournament game since 1946 Thursday afternoon when they take on No. 5 seed Vanderbilt (24-6) Thursday afternoon at 4:40 in Albuquerque, New Mexico in the team's second round game.

The game will be available on TNT with Spero Dedes, Bob Wenzel, and Jamie Maggio on the call. WHRB-FM in Boston will also broadcast the game with Charlie Hobbs, Scott Reed and James Yoon providing all the coverage.

While many people have jested about the school's superior academic prowess, both schools are out to prove that their basketball programs can compete on the national stage as well. After just barely missing the Big Dance last season, the Crimson is making its first tournament appearance since 1946 by finally breaking Princeton and Pennsylvania's hold on the Ivy League. Vanderbilt achieved some history of their own this season when they won their first SEC Tournament Title since 1951 with a 71-64 victory over Kentucky Sunday.

The Crimson are 0-1 against the Commodores and 0-4 against SEC opponents all time. Vanderbilt won the only meeting against the Crimson in 1993, when the Commodores cruised to a 74-58 victory in the Music City Invitational.

While Harvard is making just its second appearance all time (0-2), Vanderbilt is back for its third consecutive trip and fifth in six years. In 12 prior appearances, the Commodores are 9-13, with one trip to the Elite Eight when the tournament only included 23 teams. Vanderbilt has been upset in each of the past two years, with a buzzer-beater loss to (13) Murray State in 2010 and a 69-66 loss in the 5-12 game to Richmond last season in Denver. The two losses, coupled with their difficulties in the past, have given the Commodores the stigma of an underachieving program in the tournament.

While everyone on the Harvard roster will be making their first tournament appearance, Tommy Amaker brings a veteran group into Thursday's matchup. Senior captains Keith Wright and Oliver McNally have both played well over 100 games and have been the heart and soul of the team's resurrection under Amaker. Wright was the Ivy League Player of the Year last season and while his numbers have dipped this year, he's still averaging 10.7 ppg and a team-high 8.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game. McNally has changed his role a bit as well, as he's become the glue guy for a team that has seen an influx of young talent.

Junior forward Kyle Casey leads the team with 11.3 points and adds 5.5 rebounds per game. His classmate Brandyn Curry has done a terrific job manning the point for the Crimson with 7.8 points and a team-high five assists per game. Sophomore guard Laurent Rivard is the team's fifth starter and is by far the most volatile of the five. The sharpshooter averages two made 3-pointers per game and has scored 16 or more points eight times this season.

Four freshmen come off the bench to play regular minutes for the Crimson who played a difficult non-conference schedule that included games against Florida State, UConn and road games at Vermont and Loyola Marymount. Defense is Harvard's strength, as the Crimson have only allowed opponents to average 54.8 points per game on 40 percent shooting. The defense has been so good, that the Crimson have held opponents to less than 50 points twelve times in 30 games.

Vanderbilt fields an even older starting lineup than the Crimson with four seniors and a junior who have all made their mark on the program. Junior guard John Jenkins led the SEC for the second consecutive season with 19.9 points and is five threes short of tying the Commodores single season mark of 134 made 3-pointers. New Mexico native Jeffery Taylor is third all-time in scoring in program history and provides a nice one-two punch with Jenkins, as he pours in 16.4 points per game. Point guard Brad Tinsley isn't a huge scorer but he's second all time in program history in assists and is an 84.6 percent free throw shooter.

The Commodores front court isn't too shabby either, as Festus Ezeli owns the program record in blocks (199) and Lance Goulbourne has led the team in rebounding in each of the past two seasons. The pair have combined for 18.9 points, 12.4 rebounds and over two blocks per game. Add in a pair of 6'9" forwards in Steve Tchiengang and Rod Odom and the Commodores have four players at 6'9" or taller who average 14 minutes or more.

While the Commodores have tremendous size inside, the team relies heavily upon their 3-point shooting. Vanderbilt takes over 22 3-pointers per game and knocks down 8.64 per game, shooting at just under 39 percent from behind the arc. Harvard's best chance at pulling off the upset might come in defending the perimeter, as they will give up a ton of size inside and don't have much depth behind Casey and Wright.

The winner of Thursday's contest will take on the winner of the early game between (4) Wiconsin vs. (13) Montana game Saturday in Albuquerque.

For more 2012 NCAA Tournament coverage, follow our StoryStream. Also visit SB Nation for more March Madness coverage. Printable bracket can be viewed by clicking here.


NCAA Tournament 2012, Vermont Vs. Lamar Final Score: Catamounts Thrash Lamar 71-59

Vermont's first NCAA Tournament win may have been more dramatic and on a bigger stage but the Catamounts second victory in the Big Dance was just as sweet. The Catamounts (24-11) showed the nation that they were much than their individual pieces, as they ended Pat Knight's first season as head coach at Lamar (23-12) with an all-around effort.

Freshmen guard Four McGlynn punished the Cardinals with a game-high 18 points off the bench and Vermont won running away 71-59 in the 16 seed play-in game in the Midwest Bracket. With the win, the Catamounts will play top seeded North Carolina Friday at 4:10 in Greensboro, North Carolina.

McGlynn was a difference maker with all 10 of his first half point coming in a 15-4 Vermont run. He knocked down 5-of-9 shots on the night and connected on three 3-pointers. Senior forward Pat Bergmann added eight points off the bench, as the Catamounts bench outscored Lamar's bench 35-5.

UMass transfer Matt Glass added 11 points and two rebounds for the Catamounts, while former high school teammates Sandro Carissimo and Brian Voelkel also had big games. Carissimo poured in 10 points and Voekel finished with a typical stat line for him of three points and a team-high 12 rebounds and six assists.

Senior guards Mike James and Devon Lamb led the Cardinals with 16 points apiece but the duo combined to shoot 10-of-25. James tried to will the team back into the game but he hit just 6-of-17 shots before fouling out with four minutes to play in the game. Fellow senior guard Anthony Miles chipped in with 14 points and Stan Brown added six points and a game-high 13 rebounds.

Vermont shot 50 percent (25-of-50) from the field and turned the ball over just five times in helping John Becker earn his first postseason victory in his first year at the helm in Burlington. Lamar was held to 33 percent (20-of-60) and 4-of-13 (30.8 percent) shooting from behind the arc.

After falling behind 8-4, the Catamounts used a 15-4 run to open up a 22-12 lead and never looked back. The Cardinals managed to cut the deficit to five in the first half and to seven once in the second half but trailed for the majority of the game by double-digits.


NCAA Tournament 2012, Vermont Vs. Lamar: Catamounts Look To Avoid Early Exit

Vermont (23-11) will look to earn their second NCAA Tournament win in program history when they take on fellow 16 seed Lamar (23-11) Tuesday night at 6:40 p.m. in Dayton.(TV: TruTV/Radio: 101.3 FM in Burlington-not available online)

Wednesday's winner will take on top-seeded North Carolina Friday at 4:10 p.m. EDT in Greensboro, North Carolina.

The Catamounts won the America East Tournament Championship Saturday to earn the conference's automatic bid, but became the first ever America East team to be sent to Dayton and the play-in game after a down year in the conference. After jumping out to a 17 point lead with 10 minutes to play, host Stony Brook cut the lead to four with with a minute to play but Vermont moved on with a 51-43 victory.

After hitting a rut late in the regular season, Pat Knight's Lamar team has won six in a row including a 70-49 victory over McNeese State Saturday in the Southland Conference Tournament Championship Game. It is the first NCAA Tournament appearance for the Cardinals since 2000, as Knight managed to salvage his first season as head coach with this speech.

First year head coach John Becker has led the Catamounts to 23 wins and fourteen victories in their past 15 games to send the Catamounts back to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time this decade. While Vermont has made eight overall postseason appearances in the past 10 years, the Catamounts have just two wins to show for it. In 2009 the program defeated Green Bay in the first round of the College Basketball Invitational and in 2005, the (13) Catamounts defeated (4) Syracuse in a first round NCAA Tournament game.

This edition of the Catamounts doesn't have the star power of players like T.J. Sorrentine or Marqus Blakely but has come together by blending all of their pieces into a strong rotation where everyone fills a role. Freshmen guard Four McGlynn leads the team with 12 points per game off the bench and is almost an automatic shooter when left open (39 percent 3-point shooting, 89 percent free throw shooting).

Senior guard Matt Glass (11.9 ppg) and sophomore forward Luke Apfeld (10.2 ppg) join McGlynn in double-figures for the Catamounts, while two other sophomores play key roles for Vermont. America East Tournament Most Outstanding Player Brian Voelkel serves as a point forward for the Catamounts-as he averages a team-high 8.6 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game. Point guard Sandro Carissimo can be a difference maker for the Catamounts with his ability to score off the dribble and his strong court vision.

Lamar is led by a core group of upper classmen (five seniors and one junior) who have scored over 85 percent of the team's points. Senior guard Mike James averages a team-high 17.2 points on 45.7 percent shooting, while senior point guard has chipped in with 14.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and a team-best 4.08 assists per game. Senior guard Devon Lamb (6'2") has pulled down a team-high 7.9 rebounds per game for the Cardinals, while fellow senior Brandon Davis is the team's best outside shooter with 59 3-pointers.

While the two programs have never played, both coaches were able to point out opponents they faced this season that played similar styles. Becker noted that Iona played a similar fast-paced tempo and are led by a very talented group of athletic guards, in the regular season matchup, Iona defeated Vermont 73-72 in Burlington. On the other side, Knight compared Vermont to conference foes Stephen F. Austin and Nicholls State. The two patient squads who shoot the ball well, both split a pair of conference games with the Cardinals and held Lamar well below their season average of 75 points per game.

For more 2012 NCAA Tournament coverage, follow along with our StoryStream.

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