GW-UMass preview: A-10 quarterfinal tips at 9 p.m. on NBCSN

GW-UMass preview: A-10 quarterfinal tips at 9 p.m. on NBCSN
March 14, 2014, 2:15 pm
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Matchup: No. 3 George Washington (23-7, 11-5 Atlantic 10) vs. No. 6 Massachusetts (24-7, 10-6)

When: Friday, 9 p.m.

Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn

What: Atlantic 10 Tournament

Broadcast: TV - NBCSN, Radio - 1050 AM.

What's new: The Colonials closed the regular season on a three-game winning streak and received a bye into the quarterfinals. The Minutemen defeated Rhode Island 65-61 in the second round on Thursday as Maxie Esho scored 15 points.

History: UMass took the only matchup this season, 67-61 on Feb. 15 at the Smith Center, GW's only home loss of the season (14-1). The Minutemen also knocked the Colonials out of the A-10 Tournament last season. GW leads the all-time series 36-29.

KenPom: George Washington 42 UMass 48

RPI: George Washington 31 UMass 17

Coaches: George Washington - Mike Lonergan; UMass - Derek Kellogg

Leaders: GW - Scoring (Maurice Creek, 14.6), Rebounding (Isaiah Armwood, 8.7), Assists (Joe McDonald, 4.0); UMass - Scoring (Chaz Williams, 15.8), Rebounding (Cady Lalanne, 8.1), Assists (Williams, 7.1)

Links:

*Pressure-free GW readies for A-10 tourney run

*Foggy Bottom 411: Mike Lonergan on Kethan Savage's injury, "True Detective"

When last we met: The Colonials fell at home despite A-10 first-team member Williams stuck in foul trouble throughout. Patricio Garino led GW with 20 points, but UMass' Sampson Carter also scored 20 and the Minutemen shot 49 percent from the field. GW trailed by 11 points midway through the second half and 49-41 when Williams picked up his fourth foul with 6:57 left. The Colonials rallied and the lead traded sides, but UMass closed out the game sinking 8 of 12 free throws.

Matchup to watch: Few teams in the A-10 if not the country have a potent big man tandem like GW's Armwood and Kevin Larsen, selected the conference's Most Improved Player. Armwood, the shot blocking senior, spearheaded the Colonials defensive effort throughout the season. The beefier Larsen provides the low post scoring moves. Together they helped GW finish second among A-10 teams in rebounding margin. However, the Minutemen have legitimate size of their own led by 6-foot-10 center Cady Lalanne and the 6-foot-8 Carter. UMass paces the conference with 5.7 blocks. Armwood and Larsen went 8 of 25 from the field in the first meeting. 

Shoe game: Lonergan showed off his personally designed "Blue and Buff" basketball shoes at Tuesday's media session. By personally designed we mean the coach went on the Nike website, picked the GW-themed colors and ordered the shoes.