When the 2014 NCAA Tournament field was announced, several folks voiced the opinion that the UMass Minutemen were over-seeded. Looks like those folks have a leg to stand on. The 6-seed Massachusetts was absolutely demolished by 11-seed Tennessee this afternoon by a convincing 86-67 margin. The lopsided score brings a little schadenfreude to URI fans, even if they are rooting for the Atlantic 10 as a whole. With the loss, the A-10 sits at 2-2 in the Dance, with two more games coming up tonight.
Simply put, this one was never close. The Volunteers held a 41-22 lead at halftime thanks to their play inside as UMass’ fate was decided in the first 20 minutes. For all of the size on Derek Kellogg’s squad, they couldn’t hang with Tennessee. Maxie Esho was the only big man in double-figures for the Minutemen, but he shot just 5-15 from the field en route to his 12 points. Massachusetts also had exactly zero players reach double-figures in rebounding, a rarity for the top A-10 team on the glass.
Meanwhile, the big men for the Vols had a field day. Jarnell Stokes led the way with 26 points on 7-11 shooting to go along with 14 boards. Jeronne Maymon added 11 points and 11 rebounds to give Tennessee two double-doubles in the game. Jordan McRae put up 21 points and Josh Richardson added 15 as the Volunteers shot 54 percent from the field on the day.
With that, the UMass season comes to an end, as do the careers of Chaz Williams, Sampson Carter, and Raphiael Putney. Tennessee advances to face Mercer, who upset the Duke Blue Devils earlier today. That game will be played on Sunday.