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Vermont blown away by HSBC atmosphere

Color the Vermont Catamounts impressed by all the orange they saw in HSBC Arena Friday night during their 79-56 loss to Syracuse. Coach Mike Lonergan brought his team to the West Virginia-Morgan State game earlier in the day and they watched part of the Gonzaga-Florida State game before theirs.


"It was awful (he was smiling when he said that). I've been worried about this all week thinking, 'Man, I felt I was going to be at the Carrier Dome II.' It was pretty impressive. ... IIt wasn't about playing Syracuse as much. I didn't want to play Syracuse in Buffalo but it was a great experience for our guys. They were the better team, playing here or anywhere in the country.

"It was a great atmosphere. I watched the game on TV today at the Bradley Center. Pittsburgh was playing [Oakland] and it looked like it was a third full. This was unbelieveable. Even the top rows packed. Those Orange fans do a great job."

Forward Marqus Blakely

"When we first got here and walked into the arena, just to see how huge it was and knowing it's going to be packed with Syracuse fans, you realize you're there now. It's not playing Stony Brook in a packed gym of 1,500 fans. This is the real deal. we went out there and never gave up. The scoreboard might show something different but I'm proud of all of my teammates."

---Mike Harrington


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