13-15 overall, 8-8 conference, 10th Atlantic 10
Against the spread
13-12 (5-4 home, 7-6 away)
12-12-1 (4-5 home, 6-6-1 away)
2005 Season Summary
The Massachusetts Minutemen have often been considered an underachiever by both college basketball experts as well as gamblers. In 2004-05 the Minutemen achieved a winning, though disappointing season as they went 16-12 straight up and 11-13-1 against the spread. They scored a stunning and dramatic early season upset win over Connecticut but were unable to build on it and they covered just four of their final thirteen games against the oddsmakers.
Massachusetts entered the 2005-06 season without high expectations and yet with the constant expectation or potential to climb to the next level. With the expanded Atlantic 10 Conference never looking tougher, however, it would be a difficult chore for the Minutemen to earn a post-season berth and winning record.
Mixed results early
After a season opening win over Hartford in an unlined game Massachusetts traveled to Davidson where they scored a 63-66 loss/cover as 6-point road dogs. They next met up with Alabama Birmingham in a neutral court affair and lost 77-86 as 4.5-point dogs. This was followed with another unlined win over Savannah State.
The Minutemen next met up with Connecticut in a revenge game for the Huskies, who were slow to forget their embarrassing loss in the final seconds at UMass the year before. UConn was an 18.5-point home chalk and the Minutemen managed to stay one-half-point within the number in a 60-78 loss, as the conventional wisdom of a blowout UConn revenge cover was proven most unwise, as the oddsmakers were ready.
UMass next beat Boston University in another unlined game before beating Siena 78-69 as 12.5-point home chalks sending mixed signals early to gamblers.
Massachusetts next met St. Peters in a neutral court game as a 4.5-point chalk and scored a 66-49 win and cover. In their next game at St. John’s the Minutemen lost 49-51 but got the cash as 3-point dogs. In their next game at Boston College, however, Massachusetts was blown off the court in a 62-91 loss as 13-point dogs.
As UMass entered A10 play they were still something of an underrated bargain. At woeful and hapless Duquesne the Minutemen were 6.5-point chalks and scored an 82-63 win and cover. This was followed by a 48-50 loss at home to Saint Joseph’s in a pick’em affair.
UMass next lost at Saint Louis 48-50 as 1.5-point dogs, failing to get the cash by a single half-point! Still, that was just a temporary setback as the Minutemen responded with back-to-back wins and covers to continue their bargain run. First they beat Fordham 74-61 as 7.5-point home chalks and followed that up with a 60-34 blowout home win over Temple as 1-point chalks to make it six payoffs in their last eight games.
Value was depleted
UMass’ excellent run against the pointspread did not go unnoticed as the Minutemen prepared for a three-game road. UMass first lost at Rhode Island 55-58 as a 1-point dog. This was followed by a 61-68 loss at La Salle in a pick’em affair, as the Minutemen were not commanding enough points from the oddsmakers on the road. The road swing ended with a 47-76-blowout revenge loss at Temple as 7-point dogs. Further proof that Umass’ value was depleted occurred in their next two games. They barely beat Rhode Island at home 63-61 as 7.5-point chalks and then lost at home to La Salle 44-65 as 6-point chalks for a fifth straight loss against the sportsbooks.
Up then down
The five straight pointspread failures cooled the public’s desire for UMass, restoring some of their value. The Minutemen went on to cover three consecutive games although they lost two of them straight up. They then split their final four games both straight up and against the spread before losing 66-75 in the A10 tournament as 5.5-point dogs to Xavier.