Midwest Second Round: Vermont Catamounts vs North Carolina Tar Heels

2012 NCAA Tournament Midwest Region Second Round
#16 Vermont Catamounts vs #1 North Carolina Tar Heels
Greensboro Coliseum – Greensboro, North Carolina
Friday, March 16, 2012, 4:10 pm Eastern, TV: TBS
Opening Line: North Carolina -16 1/2
Current Line: North Carolina -15 1/2
Opening Total: 144
Current Total: 144 1/2
Opening Money Line: UNC -4000 / Vermont +2000
Current Money Line: UNC -3000 / Vermont +1500

North Carolina will take on Vermont in the Midwest region second round in Greensboro. The Tar Heels are heavily favored.

Wednesday night, the 24-11 Vermont Catamounts, champions of the America East Conference beat the Lamar Cardinals 71-59 in the first round of the NCAA tournament in Dayton. The Catamounts, coached by John Becker, have won 15 of their last 16 games, and 5 in a row. The only loss in that stretch inexplicably came at Binghamton, who won only 2 games all season.

The reward for Vermont for winning their first round game is a date with Midwest #1 seed, the North Carolina Tar Heels. Teh winner will face either Alabama or Creighton in the third round.  The Tar Heels, coached by Roy Williams, won the ACC regular season title with a 29-5 record, but lost in the ACC Championship game 85-82 to Florida St. The loss snapped a 9 game winning streak for North Carolina.  

North Carolina leads the series 3-0 against Vermont. The teams haven’t played since 2004. The Tar Heels won each previous meeting by at least 26 points, for what it’s worth.

Vermont has losses to South Florida, LIU-Brooklyn, Harvard, Yale, Saint Louis, Quinnipiac, Iona, Northeastern, Stony Brook, New Hampshire, and Binghamton. The Catamounts have wins over Dartmouth, Marist, Old Dominion, Siena, Albany twice, and Stony Brook twice.

North Carolina has wins over Michigan St, UNC-Asheville, Mississippi Valley St, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Evansville, Long Beach St, Texas, Boston College, Miami twice, Virginia Tech, NC State 3 times, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, Maryland 3 times, Virginia twice, Clemson, and Duke. The Tar Heels have losses to UNLV, Kentucky, Duke, and Florida St twice.

Vermont is outscoring opponents 67-61 this season. The Catamounts are #25 in points allowed in the nation. Vermont is shooting 44.5% from the field and 34.6% from 3 point range. The Catamounts make 74.1% of their free throws. Vermont averages 35.3 rebounds a game with a rebounding margin of +3.4. The Catamounts averages 13.3 assists, 12.1 turnovers, 6.1 steals, and 2.4 blocks a game. Vermont opponents are shooting 40.5% from the field and 31.8% from 3 point range. The Catamounts force 12.6 turnovers a game.

Vermont guard Four McGlynn averages 12.2 points, 1.6 rebounds, and 1.1 assists. He makes 39.3% of his three pointers. McGlynn is the leading scorer for the Cats despite coming off the bench for the whole season. He lit up Lamar for 18 points Wednesday. Matt Glass averages 11.9 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 1 assist a game. He makes 40.4% of his three pointers. Luke Apfeld averages 10.1 points and 4 rebounds. Brenden Bald averages 7.7 points, and 1.8 rebounds. Sandro Carissimo averages 7 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.2 steals a game. Brian Voelkel averages 8.7 rebounds, 5.2 assists, and 1.7 steals a game to lead the Catamounts in all three categories. No Vermont player averages more than 0.5 blocks a game.

North Carolina is outscoring opponents 82-67 this season. The Tar Heels are #2 in the country in scoring. North Carolina shoots 46.1% from the field and 34% from 3 point range. UNC makes 68.2% from the free throw line. The Tar Heels lead the nation in rebounding with 45.1 rebounds a game, with a rebounding margin of +10.8. The Tar Heels average 17.4 assists, 11.8 turnovers, 6.8 steals, and 5.6 blocks a game. UNC is 4th nationally in assists. UNC opponents are shooting 39.3% from the field, and 31.9% from 3 point range. The Heels force 13.4 turnovers a game on defense.

UNC forward Harrison Barnes averages 17.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1.1 steals a game. He makes 37.7% of his 3 point attempts. Tyler Zeller averages 16.5 points, 9.3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, and 1.3 blocks a game. John Henson averages 13.8 points, 10.1 rebounds to lead the team, 1.3 assists, and 2.9 blocks a game to lead the team. He is questionable with a wrist injury he suffered during the ACC tournament last week. Reggie Bullock averages 8.6 points, and 4.9 rebounds a game. He makes 37.5% of his three pointers. Kendall Marshall leads the Heels in assists with 9.7 a game and  in steals with 1.2 a game. Dexter Strickland is out for the season with a torn ACL. Guard Leslie McDonald is out indefinitely with a knee injury.

North Carolina is 18-15 ATS and the total is 17-16 this season. Vermont is 4-1 ATS and the total is 3-2 this season. The Catamounts are 5-1 ATS overall, 4-1 after a straight up win, 12-4 against teams with winning records, and 5-2 in non-conference games. The Tar Heels are 4-0 ATS in Friday games, 11-4 in NCAA tournament games, 7-3 against teams with winning records, and overall, 39-18-1 after a straight up loss, and 5-11-1 in neutral site games.

If UNC is without Henson then they could be vulnerable later in the tournament. However, it shouldn’t be an issue against Vermont. The Catamounts might keep it close for a half especially if McGlynn gets hot against the sometimes lazy Tar Heel defense. However, North Carolina simply has too much and will pull away late.

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