If you are wondering which NCAA Basketball team has the definitive edge in tonight's contest between the UMass Minutemen & the St. Joes Hawks, look no further, as we share valuable betting advice.
Massachusetts (P) vs. St. Josephs 7:00 ET CBSC TV
These teams met twice last year, splitting a pair of home court decisions by 5 and 4 points. Let's go inside the changes of these programs to show why UMass may have the definitive edge in this contest (holding status as small favorite in 5Dimes' odds), a matchup that finds UMass to be 3-2 SU in the league while St. Joes stands just 1-4 SU in conference action with their lone victory against bottom-feeding Fordham.
21st year St. Joes' mentor, Phil Martelli, led the Hawks to a 24 win season last year. That was good enough for an NCAA appearance, resulting in a 1st round knock out by eventual national champ, UConn. That culminated a 3 year run, in which St. Joes won 62 games. Since last season, however, St. Joes lost the heart and soul of their team in Galloway, Kanacevic and Roberts, all were voted to the All-Conference and All Tournament teams, each was a 1,000 point career scorer. Clearly, St. Joes is in a rebuilding season. Last season, the St. Joes' offense averaged 72 PPG on 47% shooting and 38% from the arc. The lack of offense is a Hawks' problem this season. For, they are averaging just 62 PPG on 41% from the field, 27% from the arc and only 62% from the stripe. That is a huge drop-off and a major reason for the 7-9 SU record, including 1-4 SU in A10 play.
UMass is in a bit of a rebuilding mode themselves under 7th year HC Kellogg. In the previous 3 seasons, the Minutemen won a combined 70 games. That includes an appearance in the NCAA last season, when they lost to Tennessee. Gone from those teams is PG Chaz Williams, one of the best players in the A10. But, others have stepped up, including Davis, Gordon and Hinds. Upfront, the Minutemen boast a pair of veterans in seniors Esho and Lalanne. UMass has the far superior offense, averaging 73 PPG, including 45% from the field. The Minutemen have already proven their mettle on the road with covers at Harvard and BYU, along with outright victories at A10 rivals, LaSalle and George Mason.
Buoyed by a hard fought 60-56 win over Rhode Island, look for UMass to continue their winning momentum against a rebuilding St. Joes team.
NCAA Basketball Pick: Take Massachusetts