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Massachusetts Minutemen vs. Rhode Island Rams - 3/13/14 Atlantic 10 First Round

Rhode Island Rams (14-17) at Massachusetts Minutemen (23-7)

College Basketball: Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 9:00 pm (Barclays Center)

The Line: Massachusetts Minutemen -6.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: NBCSN

The Rhode Island Rams and Massachusetts Minutemen will play in a Thursday night Atlantic 10 tournament matchup. These teams played twice in the month of February, and the Minutemen won both meetings.

The Rams will head into this game with a little confidence after winning three of their last four games. On the season, they average 68.1 points on 44.3 percent shooting and allow 68.3 points on 43.3 percent shooting. They’re not a deep team with only six players playing in all 31 games, but they have a great 1-2 punch in Xavier Munford and E.C. Matthews, a duo that combined for 31.1 points. This team defends the paint by averaging 5.2 blocks, but their weakness would be their free throw shooting at 65.9 percent. They are 16-10 ATS overall.

Massachusetts Minutemen vs. Rhode Island Rams - 3/13/14 Atlantic 10 First Round

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Minutemen won six of their last nine games and are looking like a team that could win the tournament. They average 75.4 points on 46.6 percent shooting and allow 70.6 points on 41.8 percent shooting. They’re an athletic team led by point guard Chaz Williams, who averages 15.8 points and 7.1 assists. They crash the glass hard with 38.6 rebounds and average 5.7 blocks. However, they can be careless with the ball offensively, averaging 13.5 turnovers. The Minutemen are 16-13-1 ATS overall.

This spread is a little interesting considering these teams just played on February 26, and it was only a three-point victory.

The Minutemen are 0-3-1 ATS in their last four games and the Rams are 5-0 ATS in their last five games. The underdog is 19-8 ATS in the last 27 meetings between these two teams, while the Rams are 3-8 ATS in the last 11 meetings.

The higher chalk than I expected does make me a little nervous, but I still like UMass. Williams is making his return to Brooklyn, and you can expect the Minutemen to put on a show.

Don’t be surprised if they win this game in blowout fashion. 

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Massachusetts Minutemen -6.5

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