No. 6 seed Massachusetts will open play in the 2014 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship on Friday afternoon against either Iowa or Tennessee - both of whom are No. 11 seeds and will play in Dayton Wednesday night. The UMass game will tip at approximately 2:45 p.m. ET at the PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C.
Friday's winner will face the Duke-Mercer winner on Sunday for the right to advance to the Round of 16 in the Midwest Region in Indianapolis.
The Last Meeting
November 18, 2012
Bayamon, Puerto Rico
The 2013-14 season marks the sixth for head coach Derek Kellogg ... Kellogg starred as a point guard for the Minutemen from 1992-95, playing for coach John Calipari ... Kellogg spent a year as a graduate assistant with Bruiser Flint at UMass, two years at George Mason with Jim Larranaga and eight at Memphis with Calipari, culminating with the 2008 NCAA Runner-up season ... UMass' win totals under Kellogg have gone 12, 12, 15, 25 and 21 last season with a second-consecutive NIT appearance
The Minutemen are shooting 46.0 pct. from the field, 34.7 pct. from outside and 68.2 pct. from the free throw line, while averaging 76.4 points per game overall. In A-10 games, those numbers were 46.0 pct., 33.6 pct., 66.2 pct. and 73.3 ppg.
UMass averages 5.4 3-pointers made and 15.4 attempts per game. The Minutemen have 218 steals thus far for 6.8 spg, which ranks 124th in the nation. UMass leads the A-10 and is 19th in blocked shots with 5.5 bpg.
Senior PG Chaz Williams leads the A-10 in assists (7.0, third in NCAA) & double-digit assist performances (5). In A-10 play, he had 15.8 points (12th in A-10), 6.9 assists (1st) & 1.7 steals (2nd).
UMASS' NATIONAL POSTSEASON HISTORY
UMass has an all-time postseason record of 24-22 in 19 combined appearances in both the NCAA and NIT tournaments. The Minutemen have made eight NCAA Tourney showings, with the last in 1998. The first came in 1962 before a string of seven-consecutive from 1992-98 in which it ran its all-time record to 11-8 with an Elite Eight showing in 1995 and the only Final Four appearance in A-10 history in 1996. Last season, the Minutemen collected their 12th NIT appearance and improved to 13-14, which included Final Fours in 1991 (fourth), 2008 (runner-up) and 2012 (tied for third).
UMass is a 6 seed for the first time in school history. Previous teams have been a No. 1 in 1996, No. 2 in 1994 and 1995, No. 3 in 1992 and 1993, No. 7 in 1998 and a No. 11 in 1997. The tournament did not seed teams in 1962.
WILLIAMS NAMED FIRST TEAM ALL-A-10 & FIRST TEAM ALL-DISTRICT
Redshirt senior PG Chaz Williams was named to the First Team All-Atlantic 10 squad as voted on by the 13 head coaches and added USBWA All-District 1 First Team accolades earlier this week. Williams leads UMass in scoring (15.8 ppg), assists (7.1 apg), steals (1.4 spg), FT made (130, 4.3/gm) and minutes (35.1 mpg). He also ranks among the A-10 leaders in scoring (5th), assists (1st), steals (6th) and assist-to-turnover ratio (t-1st, 2.2).
In 16 A-10 games, the Brooklyn, N.Y. native posted the following stats: 12 double-figure scoring games ... 5 games with at least 20 points (third-straight season) ... 3 games with at least 9 assists ... 8 games with at least 7 assists ... 1 double-double.
The Brooklyn, N.Y. native is the 56th first team all-conference selection in school history and just the fifth to earn three-straight, joining Al Skinner, Jim McCoy, Lou Roe and Rashaun Freeman. UMass now has 22 first team honorees since the league's inception prior to the 1976-77 season.
For Williams, it marks the fourth career postseason honor following his selection to the past two year's A-10 All-Conference First Team and the Colonial Athletic Association All-Rookie Team when he played at Hofstra during the 2009-10 campaign.
KELLOGG NAMED USBWA DISTRICT COACH OF THE YEAR
Massachusetts head basketball coach Derek Kellogg was named the District I Coach of the Year, as announced by the U.S. Basketball Writers of America (USBWA) on Tuesday. District I is currently comprised of Division I players form the six New England states.
Kellogg is in his sixth season at his alma mater with a 24-8 record this year. He has led the team to three-consecutive 20-win seasons for the first time since 1994-96. The Minutemen opened the year with ten-straight victories - including the Charleston Classic crown - and returned to the national rankings for the first time since the 1998-99 campaign.
Earlier this season he picked up his 100th career victory - all at UMass - with a thrilling 88-87 come-from-behind victory at George Mason on Jan. 15.
With 108 victories entering the A-10 Championship, Kellogg is in third place on the school's career victories list. Jack Leaman won 217 over 13 seasons and John Calipari is second with 193 over eight years in Amherst.
UMASS SECURES THIRD-CONSECUTIVE 20-WIN SEASON
With its win at George Washington three weeks ago, the 2013-14 team earned its 20th victory, becoming the 17th 20-win team in school history. All 17 have come in the past 43 seasons dating back to Jack Leaman's 1970-71 team that went 23-4 and participated in its second-straight NIT.
It also marks the third-consecutive 20-win season for the Minutemen, marking the first time that has happened in Amherst since the end of John Calipari's eight-year run in Western Mass. which concluded with six 20-plus win campaigns and the 1996 NCAA Final Four.
UMASS solid IN MARCH LAST 3 YRS
UMass has played some of its best basketball the past three seasons in the month of March. The Minutemen are a combined 12-8 in March dating back to ther 2011-12 season.
STRONG GUARD PLAY PACING UMASS
They say good guard play is what teams need to advance in the postseason and UMass has gotten just that over the past six games. The Minutemen's three-headed monster of Chaz Williams, Derrick Gordon and Trey Davis have combined to score 245 of 434 points (56.5%) of their offense over the last six games.
Going a step further and looking at the final 4:00 of those last six games, Williams and Davis have scored 46 of the team's 64 points (opponents with just 47 during the same span). The duo is a 22-of-26 (84.6%) from the FT line as well.
UMASS SHORT ON NCAA EXPERIENCE
Sophomore G Derrick Gordon is the only student-athlete of the current team that has participated in the NCAA Tournament. As a freshman at Western Kentucky two years ago, he led the Hilltoppers to a First Four win over Mississippi Valley State - a game in which he scored 11 points and had 11 rebounds. WKU trailed by 16 with 4:51 to play and came back to win as it completed the largest comeback with under five minutes to play in tournament history. Two days later he scored 12 points against top-ranked Kentucky and former high school teammate Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
MINUTEMEN MILESTONE WATCH
Chaz Williams is in eighth place on the UMass career scoring list with 1,641 points. He is now three away from seventh, held by Tony Barbee with 1,643. Last Sunday he broke a tie with Chris Lowe (2005-08) and became the school's all-time assist leader in just 100 games. For his college career, Williams has 835 assists, which ranks 23rd in NCAA Division I history.
Raphiael Putney became the 46th player to reach the 1,000 point mark at UMass at Duquesne. He is one of just 21 players to record 1,000 points and grab at least 600 rebounds in school history.
Sampson Carter is also looking to add his name to the 1,000 Point Club at UMass, although he has a fair amount of work to get there. He enters the NCAA Tournament with 957 points and is averaging 10.5 ppg this year, meaning the Baton Rouge, La. native would need just over three games at that pace to achieve the mark.
Putney and Carter are also climbing the games played list at UMass. Carter is tied for third with 134 and Putney is tied for sixth with 130.
UMASS IMPROVING AT THE CHARITY STRIPE
After a big midseason struggle UMass has turned it around at the FT line in the past couopke of weeks. Over the last 5 games they team is shoot 72% at the stripe (86-120), with Chaz Williams leading the way at 22-for-26 (.846) in that span. In the previous 17 games, the team shot only 63 percent (237-375).
Over the last eight games the Minutemen have made 69.7% (136-for-195) of their attempts.
UMass was 23-of-32 (.719) from the free throw line at Dayton three games ago, marking the third-consecutive game with at least 20 makes. The Minutemen also made more freebies than their opponents (UD was 21-of-33) for the third-straight game and 15th this season.
Last Wednesday at Duquesne, the Minutemen made 77.8% (14-of-18) and made their final four in the last minute to secure the vctory.
24-8 MARK AFTER 32 GAMES EQUALS THE FIFTH-BEST RECORD IN SCHOOL HISTORY
With a 24-8 record entering the NCAA Tournament, the 2013-14 UMass team has posted the fifth-best record after 30 games in school history. The record is held by the 1995-96 Final Four team which won its first 26 games before going 35-2. That team was one of 27 in NCAA history to start a season with at least 20 victories.