As Coach Lonergan noted in his post game interview after beating Maine, the Cats can now enjoy their trip down to Charleston.
ESPN's Bracketbusters is a great thing for college basketball fans across the country. It can also be very helpful for mid-majors to have some agency in where they get seeded, should they be fortunate enough to play in the postseason (we'll get to that in a minute). But for some teams in the wrong circumstances, as the season is winding down, it can be a downright waste of time and energy when they have more important things to worry about. If Vermont had not clinched the America East title, they would have undoubtedly had their February 27th date with Boston University in the back of their minds heading into the matchup with Charleston. But now they can relax and focus on playing a good Charleston team on the road before they refocus on winning the America East tournament.
In terms of seeding for any postseason tournament the Catamounts find themselves in (the regular season title clinches an NIT birth if they do not go to the NCAA tournament), this Charleston game is a big one. Since it is on the road and Charleston is rated slightly higher in most bracket projections, it will not hurt Vermont that much if they lose a tight one. It will, however, help them out a lot if they can win this game. A win could move Vermont up to a coveted 14 seed should they go to the NCAA tournament. I'm about to get way ahead of ourselves, but bear with me: if Vermont runs the table and wins the next five games, including the three in the America East tournament, they would sit at 27-5, their RPI would likely be in the 60's and UVM could find themselves back on the 13 line in the NCAA tournament. Now that is a LONG ways away. But one can dream.
For now, I guess we just gotta enjoy playing on ESPNU this Saturday in Charleston.