Tuesday, March 19th
BURLINGTON, Vt. -- The UVM men's basketball team was in an upbeat mood Tuesday as they boarded the bus to being their journey to the NCAA Tournament.
It just another short ride within the confines of New England. Hartford a city the Cats play in every year with the Hartford Hawks an America East Rival. Now with Vermont being in the West Region of this tournament, and the Final Four slated for Minneapolis in case you were wondering, this will be the last bus trip for senior guard Ernie Duncan regardless of what happens this weekend. He said he's making sure to take in every bit of this experience and he's looking forward to what time he has left to spend with his teammates.
"I'm take advantage of every chance I get to really enjoy the guys and coaches, especially bus trip down, open practice, every moment I really get to hang out with the guys and enjoy it, I'm gonna take advantage of that.", said Duncan.
Ernie one of just two Catamounts with NCAA Tournament experience. In Vermont's last trip to the Big Dance, then-freshman Anthony Lamb led the 13th seeded Cats with 20 points as they put a scare into 4-seed Purdue in Milwaukee before eventually falling 80-70. UVM has played a number of games against power conference teams since, and what Lamb and the team have learned from them is to not get too worked up about the magnitude of the moment.
""Yeah it helps realize that its a 40 minute game.", said Lamb. "When you're playing a really good team, one play doesn't really decide the game so if you get over emotional or expend too much energy in like a short 5 minute stint, then it will be hard to finish out the whole game and the only way to beat a really good team like Florida State is to play a full, complete game, and that's what we're trying to go out and do Thursday."
UVM will meet with the national media Wednesday morning, then hold an open practice later in the morning, both at the XL Center in Hartford. WCAX' Jack Fitzsimmons and Scott Fleishman will be in Hartford with the Cats and will have full coverage leading up to Thursday's 2pm tipoff against Florida State.