2014 NCAA Tournament
Midwest Region – Second Round
PNC Arena – Raleigh, North Carolina
#11 Tennessee Volunteers vs #6 Massachusetts Minutemen
Friday, March 21, 2014, 2:45 Eastern, TV: CBS
Opening Line: Tennessee -4 1/2
Current Line: Tennessee -4 1/2
Opening Total: 136
Current Total: 136 1/2
Opening Money Line: Tennessee -180 / Massachusetts +155
Current Money Line: Tennessee -185 / Massachusetts +160
The Tennessee Volunteers have won 6 of their last 7 games, with the only loss coming to Florida in the SEC semifinals. The Volunteers beat Iowa 78-65 in overtime Wednesday night in the first round of the Midwest region. Tennessee improved to 22-12 on the season and is the #11 seed in the Midwest. Up next for Tennessee is a game against #6 seed Massachusetts in the Friday’s second round in Raleigh. The winner of Tennessee-UMass will play either #3 Duke or #14 Mercer in Sunday’s third round.
Tennessee was fourth in the SEC with an 11-7 record. The Volunteers lost to Florida 56-49 in the semifinals of the SEC Tournament. That loss snapped a 5 game winning streak for the Volunteers. Tennessee is making their 7th NCAA appearance in the last 10 years, but first since 2011. The Volunteers went 2-7 against NCAA Tournament teams this season.
Massachusetts is 24-8 overall and went 10-6 in the Atlantic 10. The Minutemen tied for sixth with Dayton in the conference. Massachusetts lost to George Washington 85-77 in the A-10 quarterfinals. The Minutemen started off the season 16-1, but have lost 3 of their last 5 games. UMass is making their 9th trip to the tournament, but first since 1998. The Minutemen went 7-4 against NCAA Tournament teams this season.
Tennessee leads the series against Massachusetts 3-0. The Volunteers won the last meeting 83-69 in a tournament in Puerto Rico in 2012.
Tennessee is coached by Cuonzo Martin. The Volunteers have losses at Xavier, UTEP in the Bahamas, at Wichita State, North Carolina State, Texas A&M twice, at Kentucky, Florida three times, at Vanderbilt, and at Missouri. Tennessee has key wins over Xavier and Wake Forest in the Bahamas, Morehead State, Virginia, at LSU, Auburn twice, Arkansas, Ole Miss, at Alabama, South Carolina twice, Georgia, at Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, and Missouri. Tennesse is 19-13 ATS and the total is 12-19-1 this season.
The Volunteers are outscoring teams 71-61 this season. Tennessee is #16 nationally in points allowed. The Volunteers are shooting 44.7% from the field including 33.5% from 3 point range. Tennessee makes 71% of their free throws. Volunteer opponents are shooting 40.8% from the field including 34.2% from 3 point range. Tennessee averages 38.8 rebounds a game and opponents average 26.8 per game. Tennessee is #23 in rebounds nationally and #9 in rebounds allowed. The Volunteers average 12.6 assists, 5.2 steals, 4.8 blocks and 10.7 turnovers a game. Opponents average 9.8 assists, 5.3 steals, 3.8 blocks, and 10.9 turnovers a game.
Guard Jordan McRae averages 18.6 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1 block per game. Forward Jarnell Stokes averages 14.7 points, 10.3 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 block per game. Forward Jeronne Maymon averages 10.1 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 1 assist per game. Guard Josh Richardson averages 9.2 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 1.2 assists. Guard Antonio Barton averages 7.5 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. Armani Moore, Darius Thompson, Derek Reese, and A.J. Davis will also get significant time in the rotation. Guard Robert Hubbs III is out for the season with a shoulder injury.
Massachusetts is coached by Derek Kellogg. The Minutemen have losses to Florida State in Miami, at Richmond, at St. Bonaventure, at St. Joseph’s, George Mason, at Dayton, Saint Louis, and George Washington. UMass has key wins over Boston College in Boston, LSU, Youngstown State, Nebraska, New Mexico and Clemson (all in a tournament in Charleston, SC), at Eastern Michigan, BYU in Springfield, MA, Northern Illinois, at Ohio, Providence, Miami-(OH), St. Joseph’s, St. Bonaventure, George Mason, at Elon, Fordham, LaSalle, Rhode Island three times, at George Washington, VCU, and at Duquesne . Massachusetts is 16-15-1 ATS and the total is 13-19 this season.
UMass is outscoring teams 76-71 this season. The Minutemen are #53 in scoring nationally. Massachusetts is shooting 46% from the field and 34.7% from 3 point range. The Minutemen make 68.2% from the free throw line. Minutemen opponents are shooting 42.1% from the field and 31.3% from 3 point range. UMass is #37 nationally in 3 point defense. The Minutemen average 38.6 rebounds and opponents average 32.1 this season. Massachusetts is #28 in rebounding nationally. The Minutemen average 15.2 assists, 13.5 turnovers, 6.8 steals and 5.5 blocks per game. Opponents average 14.1 assists, 13.5 turnovers, 6.1 steals and 5.6 blocks per game.
Guard Chaz Williams averages 15.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, 7 assists, and 1.6 steals per game. Center Cady Lalanne averages 11.4 points, 8 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game. Forward Sampson Carter averages 10.5 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game. Forward Raphiael Putney averages 9.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1.2 blocks per game. Guard Derrick Gordon averages 9.3 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. Guard Trey Davis averages 9.2 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. Forward Maxie Esho averages 8.8 points, 5 rebounds, 1 steal and 1 block per game.
Tennessee is 5-1 ATS overall, 4-1 ATS after a straight up win and in neutral site games, 6-2 in non-conference games, and 5-2 in Friday games.
Massachusetts is 9-3 ATS in non-conference games, 7-3 in Friday games, 2-8 against SEC teams, 0-3-1 after failing to cover, and 0-5-1 overall.
Massachusetts has struggled down the stretch, while Tennesse has been hot recently. That is the main reason Tennessee is favored despite being the lower seed. Both teams rebound well. Tennessee would like to play this game in the 60’s, while UMass would prefer the game in the 70’s. I think the team that controls the tempo will win. I like Tennessee to do that.