The UMass Minutemen are trying to cement their tournament profile as the Atlantic 10 tournament semifinals get underway on Saturday.
SB Nation's Chris Dobbertean has the Minutemen on his Next Four Out line, but a win over the VCU Rams will go a long way in helping UMass make its case to the committee on Sunday if they need to.
The No. 6 Minutemen crashed the semifinals after upending the No. 3 Temple Owls, 79-74, on Friday night. Junior guard Chaz Williams continued his stellar play as of late, scoring 28 points and going a perfect 10 for 10 from the free throw line in the win.
The Rams took the Minutemen to task in their only meeting of the year, winning, 86-68, on Feb. 14. The win clinched VCU's seventh consecutive 20-win season as Treveon Graham scored 19 points and Melvin Johnson added 18.
On the other side of the bracket, the top-seeded Saint Louis Billikens take on the fifth-seeded Butler Bulldogs in a game that has more seeding implications than anything else. Both teams should be locks for the NCAA tournament, but a third win over Butler by Saint Louis could help the Billikens possibly move up a line.
The Billikens had no issues moving past the Charlotte 49ers on Friday, winning, 72-55. Butler also pulled out a nice win over the La Salle on Friday with a 69-58 win that put La Salle in an uncomfortable spot on the bubble. Rotnei Clarke scored 14 points as five Bulldogs finished with double digits in scoring.
The Billikens are in the midst of one of their best seasons in recent history, outright claiming their first regular-season league crown since 1957, back when they were in the Missouri Valley Conference. Butler, meanwhile, has been rumored to be joining the Catholic 7. If the team did leave, it would be as one of the A-10's more consistent members. The Bulldogs have won the league tournament four times in the past six years.
No. 1 Saint Louis vs. No. 5 Butler, 1:30 p.m. ET
No. 2 VCU vs. No. 6 UMass, 4 p.m. ET