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UMass Minutemen vs. La Salle Explorers: UMass needs to beat La Salle for a third time to keep hope alive

At one point UMass was in position for the number one seed. Now they are the eight and take on La Salle.

Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

At noon on Thursday the Massachusetts Minutemen will put their season on the line against the La Salle Explorers. UMass limps into Brooklyn a shadow of the team that once won six games in a row in early February. Make sure to watch NBCSN and see if UMass can start to turn their fortunes around.

Records and Rankings

La Salle 16-15 (8-10)

RPI: 98 BPI: 98

La Salle isn't exactly riding a wave of momentum either. They have dropped four of their last five but did finish the regular season with a win over Dayton. Against the Minutemen they have dropped both games by six and seven point. Both games were competitive but the Explorers couldn't even protect their homecourt.

UMass 17-14 (10-8)

RPI: 73 BPI: 106

UMass was dismantled in their last regular season game against GW. Anyone watching would have a hard time arguing that it was the worst performance and effort from them this season.

Players to watch

Jordan Price: Coming off a 21 point effort against Dayton, Price seems to be in good form. He finished the regular season as their leading scorer at 17.3 per game. He's also hot from behind the arc as he has made at least for three pointers in three of his last five games. Look for him to light it up.

Cady Lalanne: After being named to Third Team All-A10 Lalanne should want to show why he deserved more consideration. La Salle's inside presence can't matchup with him and he should be dominate inside/

Game time

It's always hard to beat a team three times in the same season. It is also considered insane to do the same thing over and over while expecting a different result. We have seen La Salle try to best UMass twice and fail. I don't see why the third time will prove any different.

The best chance La Salle has is to hit double digit threes like GW did. UMass can't seem to defend the three. They also can't seem to be able to shoot it either. If La Salle can hold a big advantage from behind the arc then they might be able to overcome the Minutemen's inside advantage.

All eyes are on Derek Kellogg now to see if he can rally the troops and make a push in Brooklyn. While I doubt he can lead this team to the championship game I do think he will get them past La Salle. UMass wins 68-63.