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The Collegian News Blog

ESPN love

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

When Massachusetts men's basketball coach Travis Ford came here to lead the Minutemen three years ago, he wanted to bring the program back to the Marcus Camby days of the early 90's.

Ever since Camby left following the 1996 season, UMass basketball sort of fell off the map.

If ESPN is any indication, UMass hoops is back -- and the Minutemen have Ford and Atlantic 10 Player of the Year Gary Forbes to thank.

Coach Ford was on ESPN's 'First Take' on Monday morning discussing the resurrection of UMass basketball and its chances of reaching the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1998.

You can see the video here. (disclaimer: the video will start playing immediately on the UMass athletics home page, but once the lead video changes on the site, it will only be available to paid subscribers.)

The Minutemen are 21-9 this season (10-6 in the conference) and head out to Atlantic City, N.J., on Thursday for a matchup with the winner of the Charlotte/Rhode Island game.

Many experts believe UMass is on the bubble right now of the NCAA Tournament. Coach Ford thinks his team should be in no matter what transpires in the conference tournament.

My guess? They need at least one win to assure themselves a bid into the Big Dance. A loss in the first round, much like last year, would likely cost them that at-large bid and sent them to the NIT Tournament -- which would be a major disappointment.

Posted by Eli Rosenswaike
posted by Daily Collegian Sports Blog, 12:58 PM


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