Look at the out of place logo. That’s Massachusetts hoops — the only non-BCS team still playing division 1 collegiate basketball don’t you know!
Great. Have a cookie, right? Well, actually, yeah. The Minutemen fanbase is amped.
It’s actually been quite the year for the University of Massachusetts. You may have heard, the greatest 1AA wide receiver since Jerry Rice sharpened his skills in Amherst. Yes, everyone had the Victor Cruz thing shoved in their face for the last 6 months. Our apologies, but you must admit that it’s likely better than the same old stories that tend to get rehashed over and over.
Speaking of stories you definitely don’t care about, Cruz’s old football team also announced they’d be making a move this year. UMass will be playing FBS football in 2012 in the
vaunted, highly-exciting, MAC. Have another cookie. Again, UMass nation couldn’t be happier. Sure it’s decades late, but better late than never. Right, Hofstra? Right, Northeastern?
UMass has always been a basketball school, though. OK — not a basketball school like Duke or UNC. But, if your either a football, hockey, baseball or basketball school, UMass was the latter. From Julius Erving straight through the Calipari years — life was good on the court. But in the early 2000′s the program really got off track a bit. All it took was having a short leash for Calipari disciple Bruiser Flint (who is doing quite well as Drexel, by the way) to start the fall from grace. Now, a couple of bad hires later (Steve Lappas and Travis Ford), and here we are.
That’s all in the past, now. The program is doing much better with former Calipari player, and assistant, Derek Kellogg back at the helm in Amherst.
Well, in actuality we are right where we were went Travis Ford cast the Minutemen aside like a cheap date. UMass was fresh off an NIT run when Ford got what he wanted out of the relationship. He headed back down south after getting a BCS coaching offer (at Oklahoma State).
It took three full seasons, but Kellogg has his first 20+ win season at UMass head coach. And, wouldn’t you know it, here we are back at Madison Square Garden for the NIT Final Four.