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UMass Minutemen Basketball Tickets

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Division: Atlantic 10 Conference
Arena: Mullins Center
Seating Capacity: 9,500
Location: Amherst, Massachusetts
Nickname: Minutemen
Colors: Maroon, white
School Name: University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Depending on who you listen to, the powers that be at UMass are either out of touch or thirsting to win. Maybe it is a little of both. UMass fired Steve Lappas last March after a first-round loss to La Salle in the Atlantic-10 Tournament. He had just finished a 16-12 year, a healthy gain over a 10-win season in 2004, but it clearly was not enough for a school that believes it should compete for conference championships. Enter Travis Ford, a young, aggressive coach with Kentucky roots who UMass leaders feel can make an impact in the Northeast. After five years out of postseason play, the good news is Ford walks into a solid skuation where an NIT berth is certainly within reach. If he provides the spark that Minutemen fans expect, Ford can become the mini-John Cali-pari that some UMass supporters insist is still possible in Amherst.
While UMass had major offensive problems — the Minutemen averaged just 64.4 points per game and committed 15.5 turnovers — four starters return from a team that beat UConn, Florida State and A-10 champ George Washington. Ford says he'll pump some life into the offense with the running-pressing style he learned under his college coach, Rick Pitino, and used while at Eastern Kentucky. The keys will actually be newcomers Ford scraped together late in the recruiting process.
Freshman Chris Lowe, a point guard with some New York flash-and-dash, is an important player and the only pure lead guard on the team. If he can run the show, Ford can free returnees Maurice Maxwell and Artie Bowers to run and score. He's also very excited about the offensive skills of junior college recruit James Life, who could give UMass its first legitimate wing scoring threat since Monty Mack left town in 2001.
Up front, the Minutemen can ride the broad shoulders of returning first-team all-conference forward Rashaun Freeman, one of the most athletic big men in the league. Freeman has some help up front in shot-blocking forward Stephane Lasme.
Three other key players will be transfers Brandon Thomas (Long Island) and Dante Milligan (Pittsburgh) and Lawrence Carrier. Ford recruited Thomas who attended junior college last year but did not play basketball because of his versatility and insists he could play some point guard. Milligan never got a chance at Pitt but was a highly recruited prep player. If either of those forwards steps up, Ford may have the mix to be an instant winner in the Atlantic 10.
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2006 Division I Basketball Championship Schedule
MARCH Madness
University of Dayton Arena Dayton , Ohio Host: University of Dayton
Greensboro Coliseum Greensboro, NC Host: Atlantic Coast Conference
Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena Jacksonville, Fla.
Host: Jacksonville University
Jon M. Huntsman Center Salt Lake City, Utah Host: University of Utah
Cox Arena San Diego, Calif. Host: San Diego State University
University of Dayton Arena Dayton , Ohio Host: University of Dayton
Wachovia Center Philadelphia, Penn. Host: Atlantic 10 Conference
American Airlines Center Dallas, Texas Host: Big 12 Conference
Palace of Auburn Hills Auburn Hills , Mich. Host: Oakland University
Georgia Dome Atlanta, Georgia Host: Georgia Institute of Technology
Oakland Arena Oakland , Calif. Host: University of San Francisco
MCI Center Washington, D.C. Host: Georgetown University
Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome Minneapolis, Minnesota Host: University of Minnesota , Twin Cities
RCA Dome Indianapolis , Ind
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