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Massachusetts Minutemen vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers - 11/21/13

Nebraska Cornhuskers (3-0) at Massachusetts Minutemen (3-0)

College Basketball: Thursday, November 21, 2013 at 12:30 pm (TD Arena)

The Line: Massachusetts Minutemen -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN3.com

The Massachusetts Minutemen and the Nebraska Cornhuskers face off in a Thursday afternoon college basketball matchup in the Charleston Classic.

The UMass Minutemen haven’t taken the easy way out to open their season but they enter this game at 3-0 despite playing the 26th ranked schedule in the nation. UMass opened with a win over Boston College and followed it up with wins over LSU and Youngstown State and they are projected to play the 8th ranked schedule in the country this season. Chaz Williams leads the Minutemen averaging 21 points and 7.7 assists per game. Cady Lalanne is averaging 18.7 points and 11 rebounds, Sampson Carter is averaging 16 points and 6.0 rebounds, and Raphiael Putney is averaging 11 points and 6.0 rebounds. UMass is averaging 87.7 points per game shooting 50.5 percent from the floor, 42.1 percent from beyond the three-point arc, and 68.5 percent from the free throw line while their opponents average 77.3 points and shoot 41.5 percent. UMass looks to have a legitimate shot to be a NCAA Tournament team this season.

Massachusetts Minutemen vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers - 11/21/13

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Nebraska Cornhuskers are off to a 3-0 start to the season but the level of competition they have faced hasn’t been strong. Nebraska beat Florida Gulf Coast to start the season and then beat Western Illinois and South Carolina State but they will have plenty of tough games ahead including this one. Shavon Shields is the Cornhuskers leading scorer averaging 17 points and 5.3 rebounds. Deverall Biggs returns from suspension and he is averaging 17 points, Ray Gallegos is averaging 18 points, Terran Petteway is averaging 11.3 points and 5.3 rebounds, and Tai Webster is averaging 10 points and 3.0 rebounds. Nebraska is averaging 74.7 points per game and shooting 47.4 percent from the floor, 41.9 percent from beyond the three-point arc, and 70.6 percent from the free throw line while their opponents average 53 points and shoot 37.5 percent. We saw some big improvement from Nebraska last season and we will get a chance to see if it carried over into this year.

UMass is 0-4 against the spread against the Big Ten, 5-13 against the spread in their last 18 non-conference games, and 2-5 against the spread against teams with a winning percentage over .600. Nebraska is 5-2 against the spread in their last seven games and 16-35 against the spread following a win.

This spread looks far too light and look for UMass to make a statement here.

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UMass Minutemen -3.5

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