Midwest Region - Second Round
(24-8, 10-6 A10)
What You Need To Know: UMass has slipped under the radar a bit this season, but it owns wins over Nebraska and New Mexico by controlling the tempo and dominating on the glass while protecting the rim on defense. Derek Kellogg's squad moves the ball well, and it is patient on offense without bogging down. Senior guard Chaz Williams is undersized, but he plays with grit and has the lightning quickness that creates issues on the floor. He can get to the basket and finish, but he also is one of the top passers in the nation and does a great job of finding his teammates. Cady Lalanne brings size to the paint, and his ability to get to the line takes its toll late in games. Good balance forces opponents to guard all over the floor, but UMass can struggle when its outside shots aren't falling.
Strengths: Blocked Shots, Assists, Scoring
Weaknesses: Free Throw Shooting, Scoring Defense, Turnover Margin
(21-12, 11-7 SEC)
What You Need To Know: There's something to be said for getting hot at the right time, and Tennessee has been rolling since mid-February. Cuonzo Martin has his team defending well and hitting the glass hard, creating a hungry Vols squad that’s itching for respect. The Vols bring a 1-2 punch of guard Jordan McRae and forward Jarnell Stokes to the floor, and their games mesh to force opponents to guard a full 94 feet. McRae is a slasher who also can drain the long three-pointer, and his ability to get to the line takes its toll. Stokes is more of a banger inside, and he averaged a double-double this year by working harder than most. Jeronne Maymon balances the floor and helps on the glass without trying to do too much with the basketball. Inconsistency beyond the top three has been an issue this year, but the Vols are tough when focused.
Strengths: Rebounding, Blocked Shots, Scoring Defense
Weaknesses: Steals, Scoring, Shooting