The third of the First Four games will take place Wednesday night at 6:30 PM EST between the Lamar Cardinals (23-11) and the Vermont Catamounts (23-11). The winner of this play-in game of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament will play North Carolina on Friday in the West Regional.
Although both clubs have identical records, their style of play is completely opposite. Lamar prefers to play more uptempo in a three guard set. The three leading scorers are their three guards: Mike James (17.2 ppg), Anthony Miles (11.9 ppg), and Devon Lamb (11.9 ppg, 7.9 rebounds per game). The team has shown that they have true heart since they have not lost since the "motivational" press conference given by head coachon Feb. 22.
Vermont plays at a little bit of a slower tempo, but they can score quickly based upon their shooting. The Catamounts average five three-pointers made per game, plus their three-point percentage is 33.3%. They are led by G Four McFlynn (12 ppg) and forwards Matt Glass (11.9 ppg) and Luke Apfeld (10.2 ppg).
The line on this game has Lamar as the favorite by 3 1/2 points. I would pick Lamar for this game because the Cardinals should be able to take advantage of Vermont due to Lamar's transition game off of missed threes.