First Place in the A-10 On the Line at the Mullins

By David Scott - February 08, 2007

AMHERST, Mass. – Welcome to the Mullins Center for tonight’s Atlantic 10 game between the host, UMass Minutemen (16-6, 6-2) and the visiting University of Rhode Island Rams (14-9, 7-2). It’s the second time in two weeks that the former Yankee Conference rivals will meet with first place on the line.

. . . On January 24, Rhody won at home, 75-72, putting the Rams in first place. A win at Fordham last Saturday put URI back in the top spot (after relinquishing it to George Washington) - marking the first time since the 1997-98 season the Rams had been in sole possession of first place in the conference in the month of February.

Despite all that, UMass has been installed as a surprising 12 point favorite tonight by the Wiseguys in Vegas.

. . . A handful of Minutemen are currently shooting around on the parquet of the Mullins, including sharpshooter James Life. Rashaun Freeman for the Minutemen is also working out on the same half of the court where LIfe is.

. . . UMass game notes are here

URI game notes are here

. . .Tonight’s game will be the first-annual Black Out Night presented by Clear Channel. UMass will distribute black T-Shirts to fans and encourage everyone to wear black to the game.

. . . If you read nothing else today (and we hope that’s not the case, as we live-blog for the next four hours or so), you need to take in Marty Dobrow’s story on UMass’s Stephane Lasme which appeared in today’s Boston Globe.

. . . At 16-6, UMass is off to its best overall start since the 1995-96 Final Four season when they started 26-0. The Minutemen are listed in "Others Receiving Votes" in the AP Poll this week.

. . . Those of you who were with us last time we were here in Amherst (for UMass's loss to BC), might recall that this fine institution was the place that gave this live-blogger his degree. As such, the return trip here always brings a rush of memories back. It also brings back the urge to eat pizza at the local hotspot, Antonio's Pizza (Uncle Tony's to the diehards).

In an upset to end all upsets, we have been in city limits for more than an hour and we have yet to digest a scrumptious piece of Antonio's exotic selection.

We will make up that for post-game, we assure you.

Posted by David Scott at 06:37 PM on February 08, 2007

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