The Duquesne Dukes find themselves stumbling into the Atlantic 10 post season, and will have a tough test ahead when they travel to Amherst for their first round matchup with the Massachusetts Minutemen.
Although the Dukes defeated UMass in the lone regular season meeting 80-69 back on January 18, Duquesne enters the tournament losing six of their last eight games.
If Duquesne wants to make it to Atlantic City, it will have to come from another stellar defensive effort against the Minutemen. The Dukes were able to force 29 UMass turnovers and score 32 points off of them.
If the Dukes can't force turnovers, they will face a tough battle. UMass edged the team out heavily in shooting and rebounding in the game, as the Minutemen hold a distinct size advantage. Duquesne will also be looking for an answer to Sean Carter, who terrorized the Dukes with 12 points and 14 rebounds in the first meeting between the two teams.
One player to keep an eye on will be senior guard Eric Evans. After going through a vicious shooting slump in February, he responded with 21 points in the team's last win, against Charlotte on February 29. The team will need him to continue stepping up in a senior role to get the job done.
The Dukes and Minutemen will play Wednesday in Amherst with a tip time of 7 p.m.