No. 12 Massachusetts vs. No. 5 St. Bonaventure
Atlantic 10 Conference Pre-Quarterfinals at Pittsburgh
2:30 p.m. Thursday
TV: NBC Sports Network.
Records: Bona 19-11, UMass 15-17
The Set-Up: Bona goes for its 20th win of the season, a significant accomplishment, against a UMass team it beat, 60-56, on Senior Day at the Reilly Center on Saturday. Bona needs to win this game. UMass advanced Wednesday with a win over lowly St. Joe's. UMass has won just two of its last seven, counting Wednesday.
The Matchup: Jaylen Adams scorched the Minutemen for 32 points in a 12-point Bona win at Amherst, Mass., on Dec. 30. In the rematch Saturday, UMass copied the tactics of Davidson (from the Feb. 18 Bona loss) and played a triangle and two on Adams and Matt Mobley. Those two combined for just 22 points and 3 of 18 shooting on the field. Adams compensated with nine assists. The Bonnies hit just 1 of 11 threes. Bona hasn't exactly roared to the regular-season finish, getting less-than-dominating wins over bottom-feeders UMass, Duquesne and St. Joe's. Nevertheless, Bona has won four of its last six. UMass has long defenders. If the triangle-and-two tactic is effective again, Bona's complementary players are going to have to step up.
Stats: Bona is due (overdue) for a hot shooting night. Bona stands 11th in the A-10 in three-point percentage (32.3). One thing the Bonnies don't have to worry about is the Minutemen scoring a flurry of threes. UMass stands 337th in the nation in three percentage (29.8). UMass is 40th in 2-point percentage (53.3).
Next: The winner gets No. 4 Rhode Island at 2:30 p.m. Friday.