Dukes chances at UMass

Written by Jenn Menendez on .

It’s never easy to go on the road to open the playoffs, and tonight is no exception for No. 9 Duquesne, which tips off against No. 8 Massachusetts at 7 p.m.

Winner advances to Atlantic City to face No. 1 Temple on Friday.

In Duquesne’s favor: There are a few things that bode well for the Dukes. First, The Dukes have played quite well at the Mullins Center through the years, winning the last two by large margins. Second, the Dukes beat this team in January by playing that aggressive full court defense and forcing 29 turnovers. If they can shoot better than the 40 percent they shot that night, and force even half as many turnovers they’ve got a shot.

In Massachusetts' favor: Home court. The Minutemen have gone 14-1 at home this year, a ridiculously good winning percentage. They are also riding a season that has gone better than expected. This team was picked to finish just twelfth in preseason polls but have won 20 games with point guard Chaz Williams, arguably the transfer with the most impact on his team in the A-10 this year. Add in a size advantage and strong rebounding and the Minutemen are certainly the favorites.

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