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Florida State basketball’s opening NCAA Tournament opponent: Meet the Vermont Catamounts

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Let’s get to know the Seminoles’ first challenge.

NCAA Basketball: Vermont at Kentucky Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

The Florida State Seminoles are headed to the NCAA Tournament as a 4-seed in the West region matched up with the Vermont Catamounts of the America East Conference. Historically speaking, 4-seeds have a 108-28 record over 13-seeds, meaning the higher-ranked team in this matchup advances to the second round 79% of the time. Let’s get our first look at whom the ’Noles will face in the first round.

OPPONENT: University of Vermont

MASCOT: Catamounts

LOCATION: Burlington, Vermont

FOUNDED: 1791

ENROLLMENT: 11,998

FAMOUS ALUMS: Jack Arute (ABC and ESPN sideline reporter), Jon Fishman (drummer for the band Phish), Mike Gordon (bassist in the band Phish), Rollie Massomino (Head Coach of 1985 Villanova national title team), Henry Jarvis Raymond (Co-founder of the New York Times and Harper’s New Monthly Magazine), Ryen Russillo (ESPN radio host), Martin St. Louis (4-time NHL all-star and a Hart Memorial Trophy winner), Phil Scott (Governor of Vermont), William Almon Wheeler (Vice-President of the United States under Rutherford B. Hayes

COACH: John Becker

RECORD: 27-6

KEY PLAYER(S): Vermont’s Mr. Do Everything is Anthony Lamb, the America East Player of the Year. The 6’6” Jr. can score at all three levels and is a great rebounder/defender.

KEY STAT(S): The Catamounts are fairly balanced with the 103rd ranked offense, and the 84th ranked defense according to KenPom. They’re ranked 2nd in the country at keeping opponents off the offensive glass, grabbing 78.2% of the available defensive rebounds. Vermont also excels at defending two-point shots, limiting opponents to 46.5% inside the arc, good for 38th in the nation. Impressively, they play good defense without fouling, ranking 22nd in the nation in terms of opponents’ FTA/FGA.

Like many non-power conference teams, Vermont slows things down, playing at just the 285th fastest tempo in the nation (out of 353). The Catamounts also don’t grab a ton of misses, ranking just 206th in offensive rebounds, and don’t force many steals at just 241st in the country.