Vermont Catamounts at Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders
When and Where: Tuesday, March 13 at 8 p.m. ET at Murphy Athletic Center in Murfreesboro, TN
Vermont won the American East regular season, but the Catamounts were upset by UMBC at the buzzer in the tournament championship last weekend. Middle Tennessee was upset by Southern Mississippi in the quarterfinals of Conference USA. The Blue Raiders were considered one of the biggest snubs from the NCAA Tournament.
Vermont lost in heartbreaking fashion just days ago, and now the Catamounts must travel South to battle Middle Tennessee. Vermont is a terrific team that many expected to possibly pull off an upset in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The Catamounts must settle to try and make some noise in the NIT instead. Vermont averages 74 points per game, which is solid. The Catamounts, however, really get it done defensively, holding opponents to 64 points per game.
Sophomore Anthony Lamb has been terrific for the Catamounts, averaging 14 points per game while shooting 46 percent from the field, but he has struggled lately, failing to reach double-figures in three consecutive games. Senior Trae Bell-Haynes leads the team in scoring. He’s coming off an 18-point performance against UMBC.
Middle Tennessee wanted to be in a different tournament. The Blue Raiders have a chance, however, to prove people wrong. Southern Miss upset the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders in the Conference USA quarterfinals. The Blue Raiders have been consistent all season, losing only seven times. Middle Tennessee had a difficult non-conference schedule, but couldn’t pull out the marquee win, losing to USC, Miami and Auburn. The Blue Raiders are averaging 74 points per game, while opponents are averaging 68.
Nick King is one of four Blue Raiders averaging double-figures this year. King is scoring 21 a game. He recently scored 25 points in a 17-point win. The Blue Raiders need him to be consistent if they want to make a run in the NIT. Outside of King, the Blue Raiders rely on Giddy Potts. Potts is averaging 13 points while shooting 40 percent from three. He can really stretch the floor.
- Catamounts are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
- Catamounts are 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 games following an ATS loss.
No negative trends for Middle Tennessee.
This should be an excellent game. Vermont and Middle Tennessee each have terrific defenses, and capable scorers. Both teams are senior-driven, so it’s an interesting matchup on many levels. The Catamounts are a resilient team.