- Associated Press - Friday, March 21, 2014

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - In a story March 20 about the Tennessee-Massachusetts NCAA tournament game, The Associated Press reported erroneously how far UMass advanced in the 1994 NCAA tournament. The Minutemen lost in the second round, not the round of 16.

A corrected version of the story is below:

UMass ends long NCAA drought, faces Tennessee

Kellogg’s Minutemen back in NCAA tournament for first time since ‘98, facing Tennessee


AP Basketball Writer

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Derek Kellogg was a player during Massachusetts’ 1990s surge under John Calipari and now has the Minutemen back in the NCAA tournament as a coach after a long absence.

He’s hoping that Friday’s game against Tennessee in the Midwest Region - their first appearance in 16 years - is the start of another long run of tournament trips.

“I’d like to kind of write our own legacy, our own history, as far as where we’re not looking back but now we’re looking forward,” Kellogg said Thursday. “Hopefully this is an opportunity to get UMass where we’re a team that’s continuously looking for NCAA tournament appearances and postseason play.”

Kellogg started on two teams that reached the NCAA second round and one that reached a regional final in 1995 under Calipari, who guided UMass to the Final Four a year after Kellogg’s graduation. That came amid a run of seven straight NCAA appearances, which ended in 1998 two years after Calipari’s departure for the NBA.

Kellogg’s sixth-seeded Minutemen (24-8) have pushed tempo and played pressure defense, averaging 76 points while shooting 46 percent. Fifth-year senior Chaz Williams leads the offense at 15.6 points and 7 assists per game, while the Minutemen have a starting lineup that has been together for all 32 games.

“The atmosphere is beautiful and it’s tremendous,” Williams said of reaching the NCAA tournament. “It gives you kind of the feel like it’s a Super Bowl, it’s a World Series game. So it’s just pretty exciting just to know that we’re here for a purpose and we have business to take care of.”

The 11th-seeded Volunteers (22-12) arrived in Raleigh early Thursday morning after rallying to beat Iowa in overtime in the First Four late Wednesday night in Dayton, Ohio. This is Tennessee’s first NCAA trip since 2011 and the first under coach Cuonzo Martin, who said his team can build off its tough win.

“I thought it was great for our guys to play a game like that, a physical game,” Martin said. “I think it’ll help us because now you have a game under your belt. Now it’s just basketball.”


Story Continues →