The Canisius College men's basketball team will travel to play at Vermont on ESPN3 on Saturday, Feb. 23 as part of the Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters, ESPN announced tonight. Game time has been set for 1 p.m. This marks the first time the Golden Griffins have earned one of the 13 nationally televised games in the BracketBusters series.
The Catamounts are 14-7 overall and 7-2 in America East play under the direction of second-year head coach John Becker. Junior forward Clancy Ruff, who is posting 11.1 points per game, leads Vermont's offense, which is averaging 62.0 points per game this season. The Catamounts have three players scoring in double figures, as junior guard Sandro Carissimo and junior forward Luke Apfeld are each good for 10.1 points per contest. Junior forward Brian Voelkel is good for 8.0 rebounds per game, which leads the team and ranks fourth in America East. Vermont's key to success this season has been its defense, as the Catamounts are allowing 57.9 points per game this year. That ranks first in America East and 19th nationally in scoring defense.
The meeting between Canisius and Vermont will be the 17th all-time contest between the two schools and it will mark the first time the Griffs and the Catamounts have played a game since Jan. 28, 1991. Canisius is 15-1 in the previous 16 games and the Griffs have won 15 straight in the series, which dates back to Jan. 4, 1982. Canisius is 8-0 all-time in Vermont's Patrick Gymnasium, having last played there Jan. 23, 1990, where the team scored a 67-64 victory. Both Canisius and Vermont were formerly members of the North Atlantic Conference.
Canisius is one of 10 schools from the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference participating in this year's BracketBusters event. The Golden Griffins have played in the BracketBusters series seven times and the team holds a 5-2 record in those seven previous contests. The Griffs are a road team in this year's BracketBuster event, and as part of the agreement, all 71 home teams will play a return game at the home facility of their opponent in November or December of the 2013-14 season.This season, the Griffs are 15-8 overall and 8-4 in MAAC play after the Blue and Gold defeated Iona 77-74 at home Feb. 2. The 15 wins this season are 10 more than the team had all of last year, and it also stands as the most victories for the program by Feb. 2 since the 1985-86 campaign. Canisius opens a five-game road stretch Thursday, Feb. 7, at Manhattan, with game time set for 7 p.m. That game will be broadcast live on ESPN3.