MGN Online

Tools

UMass ends long NCAA drought, faces Tennessee

By news admin

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Derek Kellogg was a player during Massachusetts' 1990s surge under John Calipari and now has the Minutemen back in the NCAA tournament as a coach after a long absence.

He's hoping Friday's game against Tennessee in the Midwest Region - their first appearance in 16 years - is the start of another long run of tournament trips.

Kellogg's sixth-seeded Minutemen (24-8) have pushed tempo and played pressure defense, averaging 76 points while shooting 46 percent. They're facing the 11th-seeded Volunteers (22-12), who arrived in Raleigh early Thursday morning after rallying to beat Iowa in overtime in the First Four late Wednesday night in Dayton, Ohio.

This is Tennessee's first NCAA trip since 2011 and the first under coach Cuonzo Martin, who said his team can build off its tough win.