Glad George Mason Won? You Can Thank Me

Every instant I watched the early game today, UConn dominated. Every time I turned the channel or was called away for an errand, Mason stormed back. Finally, with about 11 minutes left and Mason up three, I decided to take one for the “team” (in this instance, the 99% of red-blooded Americans who love the underdog, especially against an evil jerkwad like Jim Calhoun). I turned the TV off and took my wife and kids bike riding. Yes, I intentionally missed perhaps the greatest Cinderella game of all time. But I did it for YOU PEOPLE!

Speaking of the NCAA tournament, I agree with Billy Packer’s assessment – this has been the best tourney ever. Just incredible action and storylines. With the complete absence of evil in the Final Four.

Florida becomes the 3rd team to make the Final Four primarily using defense. The Gators have held their first 4 opponents to 50, 60, 53, and 62 points. I guess they missed the memo noting that Billy Donovan teams are supposed to have no heart.

And yes, to reiterate, my wife had 3 of the Final Four teams right (every one but George Mason), in the only bracket she filled out (in 10 minutes, based on geographical preference). Will she be alive to take down a 155-entry office pool? I’ll find out in the morning. 🙂

About BJD95

1995 NC State graduate, sufferer of Les and MOC during my entire student tenure. An equal-opportunity objective critic and analyst of Wolfpack sports.

General NCS Basketball

26 Responses to Glad George Mason Won? You Can Thank Me

  1. Jeff 03/26/2006 at 7:43 PM #

    I only got 2 of 4 – UCLA and Florida

  2. Greg 03/26/2006 at 7:52 PM #

    I dont like Uconn but I hated to see GM win. I am a purist. I like to see the best teams play against the best teams. If my team isnt involved, I would be just as happy seeing the #1’s play each other every year.

    Seriously, who wants to see GM play Florida?

    What if GM wins two more? If they do, it takes our favorite sport and turns its championship into the largest farce in college athletics. GM would be ‘the best team in america’….


  3. vtpackfan 03/26/2006 at 7:53 PM #

    This is the best tourny in recent years. A case could be made that the officiating has been poor at times, but these days the best officials in every sport sit on couchs and bar stools. No “legendary” coachs(Izzo, K, Calhoun), and none of the “no team in I” types (Gay, Reddick, Morrisson). George Mason, are you crazy? NC State was chosen as an at large before them.

  4. Clarksa 03/26/2006 at 8:00 PM #

    I had UCLA and Florida as well…Duke and UConn let me down (well, not really).

  5. BJD95 03/26/2006 at 8:02 PM #

    A GM title would be “Yuck”? Seriously? They are the embodiment of the American dream, IMHO. And nobody did them any favors – they beat the defending national champion (UNC), the consensus best team (UConn), and a perennial great NCAAT team that lost in the national semis last year (Michigan State). And to think, I thought another mid-major should have gotten their bid since I didn’t see how they could beat Izzo’s Spartans with Tony Skinn suspended. What a story.

  6. VaWolf82 03/26/2006 at 8:05 PM #

    It was looking grim for me in the competition with my son. After Friday’s games, I had lost 2 Final Four Teams and only had 4 of the Elite 8. I was one game ahead of my son, but he had 5/8.

    After today, he got UCLA to tie me. I went 0/4 on the Final Four. Since he picked UCLA to lose to Duke….our competition ended in a tie.

  7. Only One 03/26/2006 at 8:17 PM #

    Greg said: I like to see the best teams play against the best teams

    Obviously, LSU, UF, GeoMason and UCLA ARE the top 4 teams in the country. What’s the goal of every team? To make the final 4 and ultimately the championship. These 4 did their job. The other 350 or so teams did not. Ergo, these 4 are the best 4 teams in the country. It’s simple really.

  8. BJD95 03/26/2006 at 8:20 PM #

    Based on who Mason beat to get there, I don’t see how they can’t be considered one of the best four. And to come back from a heartbreaker shot to send the game to OT, too. No fluke whatsoever.

  9. Greg 03/26/2006 at 9:02 PM #

    Only One, assuming because you are still playing means you are the best team is off the mark. Yes, that is the goal, but the best team does not always win. Upsets happen, players make mistakes, players get hot, refs make calls, things just happen that influence the game. It is a very simple minded way to look at things and a relatively easy opinion to defend but I think if you take a look back through history you can easily see that its just not true.

    Here is a better way to determine what you really think. Suppose we shuffle the deck and replay the whole NCAA tournament, knowing what you know now, just with different matchups, who would you pencil in on your brackets? Would you have UCLA, GM, LSU, and Florida?

  10. Cowdog13 03/26/2006 at 9:03 PM #

    My goodness Greg…what the heck don’t you like about the game? Come again? Over.

  11. Greg 03/26/2006 at 9:12 PM #

    cowdog13, I just really like seeing great games. I enjoy watching the best, most talented, best coached teams playing each other. Its great watching Northwestern State upset Iowa but then the next day you have to watch NWS play West Virginia.

    I wanted to see Duke matchup with Texas again. I wanted to see BC slug it out with Nova. Duke v Uconn? Wouldnt that have been fun? Texas v Nova? What a track meet that would have been.

    You know good and well the NCSU victory over UNC in 1992-1993 (cant remember the exact year) wasnt anywhere near as sweet as any of the ones when we had a good team. There is just something great to watching two great teams play one another. Imagine the hype if UNC and NCSU were ranked #1 and #2 in the country the day they played. Are you telling me you wouldnt take that day off work just to prepare?

  12. SaccoV 03/26/2006 at 10:06 PM #

    This tournament has been one for the ages. I was trying to find a comparable situation for George Mason reaching the Final Four and the nearest one I can come up with would be 1979, when two teams made the final weekend, Pennsylvania and Indiana State. Of course we know ISU’s story with Larry Bird but Penn has an equally remarkable run and represented the Ivy League’s first Final four since Bill Bradley took Princeton in 1965. Other remarkable runs I ran across, Drake in 1969, Dayton in 1967, and the 1970 Final Four with UCLA, St. Bonaventure, New Mexico State and Jacksonville. Anyway, Greg, you are out of your mind when you can’t find something positive about George Mason getting this far. If they win both games, then even more amazing. Usually we’re discussing how great it is when an unexpected team from a big conference gets there (Providence in 1987) and we talk about what a great year they had. This year’s tournament still has the biggest underdog perhaps ever in the history of the tournament, and this is why 2006 should forever be remembered and celebrated.

  13. BJD95 03/26/2006 at 10:13 PM #

    Hell, let’s not overlook one thing – George Mason could EASILY win the freaking thing. They’ve taken it WAY past the “cute” stage. Wouldn’t it be great for college basketball if the freaking George Mason Patriots took home the hardware? Especially if they beat a storied program like UCLA in the final?

  14. vtpackfan 03/26/2006 at 10:14 PM #

    George Mason winning the next two games would be on par with the greatest american amatuer sports memory- !980 “miracle on ice”. (minus the Florida Gators being the Red Army)

  15. rj 03/26/2006 at 11:20 PM #

    This is why college basketball is so much better than college football.

    In college football, the equivalent of George Mason would have gone 9-2 and won the Motor City Bowl.

  16. rj 03/26/2006 at 11:24 PM #

    “cowdog13, I just really like seeing great games. I enjoy watching the best, most talented, best coached teams playing each other. Its great watching Northwestern State upset Iowa but then the next day you have to watch NWS play West Virginia.

    I wanted to see Duke matchup with Texas again. I wanted to see BC slug it out with Nova. Duke v Uconn? Wouldnt that have been fun? Texas v Nova? What a track meet that would have been.”

    Then Iowa should’ve beat Northwestern State.
    Then Duke should’ve beat LSU (who then beat Texas).
    BC did slug it out with Villanova and they lost.
    Duke vs. Connecticut would have been a great final, but this isn’t college football where the top 2 teams are artificially arranged by ESPN and a computer to guarantee lots of money. George Mason vs. one of UCLA or LSU would be a great final too.

  17. El Scrotcho 03/26/2006 at 11:32 PM #

    ^I’m glad we have both the Basketball playoff model and the Football BCS model.

    In the former you get to see which team was playing the best at the end of the season, and in the later you get to see the two teams who had the best “season” square off.

    I love to see the excitement of an end of year tourney, and I also like to see teams battling it out over the course of a year, where every single game is an elimination game.

  18. class of '74 03/27/2006 at 6:40 AM #

    Best team in the country? Is always in the eye of the beholder. NCAAT champs are the winner of a tournament but it’s THE tournament. Give credit to all four of the finalists. They beat who they had to face and that’s all they had to do.

    I’m convinced the majority of fans would rather see upsets than chalk vs. chalk throughout.

  19. BJD95 03/27/2006 at 7:24 AM #

    It just seems to me that rooting for the big dogs against the likes of George Mason is analogous to cheering for Boss Tweed or Wal-Mart. Unless you have a personal stake in it, it’s just unthinkable, at least to me.

    I understand that the “game after” for teams like Northwestern State is not always good – but what if they DO pull off another? Then another. Then yet another. NOW, you’re looking at history – a run that we may never see again in our lifetimes. And isn’t that why we watch sports that don’t involve our primary teams? Because you might just see something historic that you will never forget.

    Another aspect we haven’t discussed yet – how much must this be driving Gary Williams crazy? All 5 GM starters are from…Maryland.

  20. VTPACKFAN 03/27/2006 at 7:56 AM #

    George Masons continued success could indirectly lead to the kind of changes many who visit this web site would like to see. A true mid-major program that was a contrversial at large pick could lead to the selection committee seriously looking at multiple teams representing these conferences in future NCAA’s. Herb’s room for error (which we know he computes) to continue on his record run becomes much smaller. Plus, I heard Rick Majerus say that George Mason’s success could lead other mid major programs to open up their wallet some. Herb would be more then happy to leave State a go back to a Miami if the pay was there. So go Sende…Patriots!

  21. RickJ 03/27/2006 at 9:00 AM #

    BJD95 – Interesting point about George Mason’s 5 starters coming from Maryland. You hear a lot more complaint about Josh Boone & Rudy Gay being from Maryland by Terp fans.

    To me, another anomaly about this years tournament is that it seems a lot more about the frontcourt players than the guards.

  22. Rick 03/27/2006 at 9:04 AM #

    “Seriously, who wants to see GM play Florida?”

    I do. Anyone that does not enjoy watching them play does not know basketball (and it explains your compunction to worship Herb). Each player knows his strengths and weaknesses and they utilize them to make the whole far better than the parts.
    They are running a two post offense that is fun to watch.
    I really enjoyed watching them beat UConn yesterday.

  23. BJD95 03/27/2006 at 9:43 AM #

    Very true, Rick. In fact, UCLA is really the only guard-oriented team left. That indeed is very contrary to NCAAT conventional wisdom. Maybe it means UCLA will win it all? My wife takes down a tidy sum in my office pool if that happens. 🙂

  24. Gugs 03/27/2006 at 12:45 PM #

    I would hope you turned off the TV and went bikeriding for your family instead of us. I didn’t watch it and I wasn’t thinking of SFN at the time either.

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