The upper half of the Atlantic 10 Conference can simply be summed up with one word: mess.
The top eight teams in the league all boast a conference mark above .500 and with the final few games of the regular season unfolding over the course of the next few days, the push for better seeding within the Atlantic 10 Tournament is on.
The Bulldogs make the trip to Amherst for a crucial A-10 battle and although we know that Butler will be dancing in the coming weeks, each game still holds equal importance for their seeding both within the A-10 Tournament and the NCAA Tournament. As for the Minutemen, well they are all but done if they cannot pull off the upset on Thursday. Even if UMass can shock Butler, they will still have plenty of work to do, but with two games still on the schedule, the Minutemen do potentially have the opportunity to end the regular season with 20 wins.
At 18-9 overall and 8-6 within the conference, UMass has had some missed opportunities over the course of the past month or so that have certainly damaged their at-large hopes. However, with Butler in town on Thursday night, there’s a chance for UMass to generate a little buzz. There would be no denying that if the Minutemen pulled off the victory that it would mark the biggest win for head coachDerek Kellogg in his tenure.
Starting point guard Chaz Williams will have to be on his A-game against a loaded Butler back court, while Cady Lalanne will need to stay out of foul trouble in the paint. Terrell Vinson could be the X-factor in this match-up given his ability to step out and spread the floor on the perimeter.
Rumors are its a sell out in Amherst on Thursday night and what better way for UMass to garner a little momentum prior to the A-10 tournament than a home win against Butler?
Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00pm (EST).
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