Friday is big day for three UMass teams. The hockey team hosts No. 1 Boston University at the Mullins Center at 7 p.m., as UMass seeks its first win against a No. 1 team since 1995. The men's soccer team plays its A-10 Tournament Semifinal at 6 p.m. in Pittsburgh as the Minutemen look to build their case for an NCAA Tournament berth. Finally, the women's basketball team begins its regular season at Vermont at 6 p.m. In the news area, the UMass men's basketball game against Dayton on Jan. 10 at the MassMutual Center in Springfield has been moved to a 1 p.m. start moved from the original 4 p.m. time. Tickets will go on sale for this game next week, be sure to pick yours up and help sell out coach Derek Kellogg's return to his hometown.
ESPN's Andy Katz is in Amherst on Friday to meet with head coach Derek Kellogg for a story on the UMass-Memphis game on Monday night at midnight which kicks of ESPN's 24 hours of basketball on its family of networks. In case you haven't seen the ESPN commercial for the game it features a clip of Ricky Harris.
The Republican's Ron Chimelis has a story on Luke Bonner's injury and what options UMass has if Bonner is to miss a lot of time.
Based on the NCAA's strength of schedule formula for FCS football, UMass has played the second-toughest schedule in the nation with a 59.2 win percentage. This is something UMass can hope might boost their chances at an at-large NCAA berth in the postseason if they can win their last two games.
If you watched the Jets-Pats overtime thriller on the NFL Network you saw UMass alum James Ihedigbo very involved on special teams. He was in on a bigtime hit on the opening play of the game which was replayed several times.
The Republican's Dick Baker has a preview of the UMass-BU hockey game. The story mentions that the Minutemen last upset over a No. 1 team was Jan. 28, 1995 when they stunned the Maine Black Bears 4-2 at the Mullins Center. UMass is 1-12-1 in games played against No. 1 teams.
The USCHO's Dave Hendrickson has his This Week In Hockey East notebook. He writes: UMass has enjoyed enviable special teams so far this year. The Minutemen rank second overall in Hockey East in power play percentage (21.6) and first in penalty kill (93.9).
"MASSACHUSETTS, THE SURPRISE OF LAST year's Men's College Cup, was almost written off half way through the 2008 campaign, but the Minutemen look set to return to the NCAA Division I Men's Tournament after running off six straight wins to earn the No. 1 seed in the Atlantic 10 Tournament, which continues Friday with the semifinals at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh."
In Syracuse, the Orange are focused on UMass as they prepare for the NCAA First Round game, as featured here in the Syracuse Daily Orange.
Tough night for the men's basketball team as they lost at Southern Illinois, 80-73, the Carbondale Regional final of the 2K Sports Classic. UMass battled hard as the articles in JTAM will attest to, but the Salukis are nearly perfect at home since 2001. They are an amazing 94-6 at the rowdy SID Arena. Thursday brings the Bud Light UMass Football Show. The player guests joining head coach Don Brown are expected to be offensive tackle Vladmir Ducasse and defensive back Shane Viveiros. Don't forget to Ask Coach Brown. The football team is gearing up for its clash with UNH on Saturday in Durham, N.H.
In the Masslive.com Hockey East Power Rankings, they have UMass at No. 6.
UMassAthletics.com Feature To Check Out: If you are in school, join the Maroon Platoon.
Don't miss this: The UMass field hockey team leaves for Syracuse this afternoon in preparation of its NCAA First Round game vs. No. 3 Syracuse. Also Thursday brings the Bud Light UMass Football Show. Send your questions for Coach Don Brown.
Wednesday, Nov. 12
Big congratulations to Derek Kellogg and the field hockey team. First off, salute to Springfield's own native son and UMass alum on winning his first game as a head coach. There are several stories on the game in Just Take A Minute. The field hockey team is off to Syracuse to play in the NCAA Tournament against the Orange at 11:30 a.m. Also of note, the UMass Official Auctions finish at 7 p.m. ET, just an hour before tip-off in Carbondale against the Salukis.
ESPN.com's Kyle Whelliston is in Carbondale for the regional and will have a story on UMass coming soon. Whenwhile, you can chat with him today at 1 p.m.. Be sure to ask about the Minutemen.
In New York, Dick "Hoops" Weiss writes about the 2K Sports Classic in the New York Daily News. Hoops writes: But we wouldn't count UMass out of the mix. First year coach Derek Kellogg's Minutemen, which beat up on Division II Arkansas-Monticello, 90-71, in the Carbondale regional, has a terrific, experienced backcourt in Chris Lowe from Mt. Vernon and Ricky Harris and should give Southern Illinois all it wants tomorrow.
Bob Knight will be back on ESPN this year as a college basketball analyst -- and his role will expand. In the 2K Sports Classic blog, it is mentioned that he will be part of the broadcast crew for the 2K Sports Classic games in New York. He will join the crew of Dan Shulman, Dick Vitale and Doris Burke.
Up in New Hampshire, here is a story on the Wildcats as they prepare for the Minutemen in the Laconia Citizen.
UMass alum Andrew Merritt has his weekly New England Hockey Journal hockey notebook citing With two more shutouts over the weekend, the UMass penalty kill is now 25-for-25 in the last five games, and its 93.9 percent kill rate is sixth in the nation.
In hockey alumni news, four-year Minuteman P.J. Fenton is playing well for the Worcester Sharks, here the is Garry Brown's story in the Republican about the Springfield Falcons' 2-0 win over the Sharks. He mentions: P.J. Fenton, a 23-year-old rookie forward from Springfield, was among the healthy scratches from Worcester's lineup. He has a goal and three assists in 11 games.
UMassAthletics.com Feature To Check Out: Check out the link to the 2K Sports Classic. It features information on the bracket and future info on Madison Square Garden.
Don't miss this: The men's basketball team looks to advance to the semifinals of the 2K Sports Classic in Madison Square Garden as the Minutemen take on Southern Illinois in a huge early season match-up tonight at 8 p.m. ET. Also Wednesday is the start of the National Letter Of Intent signing period. Expect some UMass signees as well.
Tuesday, Nov. 11
First off, a salute to all veterans across the country on this holiday. ... Two huge games in UMass history this afternoon. First the A-10 champion field hockey team hosts Kent State in the NCAA Play-In game at 1 p.m., at Garber Field. Then, the big one, UMass alum Derek Kellogg makes his head coaching debut as UMass plays in the 2K Sports Classic in the Carbondale Regional, against Arkansas-Monticello at 6 p.m. Kellogg will be the first UMass alum to lead his alma mater since Tom McLaughlin did from 1981-83. You can listen to the game on the UMass Sports Network including flagship 100.9 FM, 830 AM and 95.9 FM in the eastern part of the state. After the basketball game, be sure to listen to the Bud Light UMass Hockey Show with Toot Cahoon at approximatley 8:15 p.m.
Ron Chimelis of the Springfield Republican is on location in Carbondale and provides this preview of the UMass basketball opener.
Also Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette is in Carbondalle and files this report on Derek Kellogg's debut.
UMass alum Dan Duggan has his season preview of the UMass basketball team in the Boston Herald
On CBSSportsline.com, Gary Parrish has a projected NCAA Tournament field with UMass on the "bubble." Parrish mentions in looking to his first projection: The first interesting game will probably be UMass at Southern Illinois on Wednesday.
The football team has dropped to No. 22 in the Sports Network media poll, the lowest ranking for UMass since being No. 24 back in the week of Sept. 24, 2005. In the FCS Coaches Poll, UMass now stands at No. 20.
Don't miss this: Two big games, the NCAA field hockey play-in game at 1 p.m. as No. 18 UMass hosts No 20 Kent State at 1 p.m., at Garber Field. Then at 6 p.m., the men's basketball team opens its regular season against Division II Arkansas-Monticello in Carbondale, Illinois. Derek Kellogg is the third UMass coach in the last five to open their Minutemen career against a Division II team. John Calipari beat Southern Connecticut in 1988 and Bruiser Flint topped Chaminade in 1996.
Monday, Nov. 10
Its the start of a huge week in UMass Athletics. The men's basketball team opens the regular-season on Tuesday against Arkansas-Monticello in Carbondale, Ill at 6 p.m. ET. The field hockey team hosts Kent State in the NCAA Play-In on Tuesday at 1 p.m., for a chance to be one of the 16 teams in the NCAA Tournament. The men's soccer team -- the A-10 regular-season champion -- will play as the No. 1 seed in the conference championship semifinals on Friday in Pittsburgh. Check out the ticker above the homepage headline for a new feature on UMassAthletics.com where each day we will have "This Date In the 100 Seasons Of UMass Basketball."
Kent State has this field hockey preview of the NCAA Play-In game at UMass on Tuesday afternoon. The Golden Flashes have won 11 games in a row and stand at 17-4 overall. Additionally, the Kent News had this recap of the Golden Flashes' win of the MAC.
UMassAthletics.com Feature To Check Out: There are more than 20 different bids on the UMass Auctions. Just two days remain for the first of UMass' Official Online Auctions. Be sure to bid, especially for the trip to Memphis with the basketball, a week from today, on the team charter plane with tickets and hotel.
Don't miss this: We are just one day away from NCAA Play-In game in Amherst where the field hockey team hosts Ken State on Tuesdat at 1 p.m. Then at 6 p.m. ET, the UMass men's basketball team plays he fourth overall basketball of the season in Derek Kellogg's debut as the head coach. The Minutemen take on Arkansas-Monticello in Carbondale, Ill.