Mason’s season officially over after CBI loss to Loyola

2017-03-16 10_55_48-Patriots fall to Loyola in CBI - George Mason University AthleticsGeorge Mason fell to Loyola (Md.) last night in a game they didn’t look all that interested in. Hosting the first round of the CBI tournament costs the school money and Mason had one of their worst performances of the season. Mason shot 33% and was out-rebounded by the Greyhounds. Loyola came out strong and just looked like they wanted the game more than Mason did. They out-hustled Mason all game long, who struggled badly to make any shots in the first half. Marquise Moore and Jalen Jenkins combined for 7 total points in their final game as Patriots. Dave Paulsen opted to go with the young guys for the majority of the minutes, a teachable moment I’m sure. After the game Paulsen said that perhaps it was a mistake to play in the tournament:

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George Mason will play in the CBI, host Loyola (MD) Wednesday night

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While it was disappointing to not see George Mason advance further in the Atlantic 10 tournament after a much improved season. However, there will still be more basketball played as the team will play in the CBI tournament. Mason will host Loyola (MD.), a 15-16 team from the Patriot League, on Wednesday night. Dave Paulsen certainly has familiarity with the Greyhounds from his Bucknell days. Also in the field is Revolutionary Rival and fellow A-10 foe George Washington. GW, Toledo, and San Francisco appear to the only real threat to Mason in this tournament so hopefully they can get to the finals again like they did in 2013. Will there be another game at the RAC?

The full bracket can be found here and if I remember correctly from four years ago I think there will be some re-seeding that occurs after the first or second round of games.

CBIB

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Mason survives and advances over Fordham in OT

17240250_10154434708461527_7566929403240806197_oGeorge Mason finally got their first ever Atlantic 10 tournament victory last night in a hard fought battle over Fordham that went to overtime. They advance to face #2 VCU tonight at 6 pm. Hey just like old times in the CAA tournament! Otis Livingston II had an amazing pass underneath to Jalen Jenkins to force overtime as Mason battled back being down by as many as seven points with only seconds remaining. They had looked like they were out after Marquise Moore missed two big free-throws late but they stayed calm and never stopped fighting.

In overtime Mason looked like a different team and never looked back after taking the lead and riding their own momentum. They went 6-for-8 in the extra period with some great shooting from Jaire Grayer and Justin Kier. Here is Kier’s three-pointer that was the dagger:

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George Mason will be the 7th seed in the Atlantic 10 tournament

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George Mason fell to VCU yesterday on the road 72-60 to end the regular season and will be the 7th seed in the Atlantic 10 tournament. Once again they are slated to start the tournament off against Fordham (10 seed) with the winner playing VCU. The good news is this is the first year in the A-10 that Mason will most likely advance to a further round but the bad news they will have to go through VCU to get to the semifinals. The tournament gives Mason a fresh start, which they need at this point, and will give them another chance to play with a do-or-die attitude. Hopefully these last few games have shown them what they need to work on most before the tournament begins.

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2016 GMUHoops.com Bracket Challenge

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It’s that time again, join our bracket challenge on CBSSports.com and win Mason prizes. Join an elite group of winners that features former walk-on player Jimmy Nolan! 

Here is the link to the bracket group

The password is mason

My wife has already picked her bracket, based on team mascots, and will probably beat me again for the fifth straight year. Good luck.

A look back at the 2006 Final Four

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Lot of coverage this week on the 10th anniversary of George Mason’s Final Four run in 2006. Has it been that long? Definitely has a special place in my heart as I started this site that August after it happened. There’s a great in-depth look from Matt Norlander of CBS that is definitely worth your time and shares a lot tidbits that most people don’t know. Also the Washington Post has a great video:


Jim Larranaga and his Miami team will be practicing at George Mason to prep before the ACC tournament. Will they scrimmage our guys?

Luke Hancock, a hero in the national championship game for Louisville

Former Patriot Luke Hancock has been having one hell of a week. Last night be became one of the most memorable 6th men in national championship history. Despite how you may feel about his exit from George Mason it’s hard not to proud of the kid, especially when you read stories like this. Hancock earned Final Four MVP honors after going on “a shooting spree for the ages” last night scoring 14 straight points at the end of the first half. He was also the first reserve player ever to win the award, that’s pretty impressive.
So yeah, this year’s AP Coach of the Year and Final Four MVP were at George Mason together in 2011. Crazy part in all this is that Jim Larranaga wasn’t even that impressed when recruiting him and initially wanted to pass on him. Hancock was certainly a hero to Mason fans back in March of 2011 but he really has turned a corner with Rick Pitino. While in Fairfax he was a great glue-guy, held everything together, rarely made mistakes and would give a scoring lift when needed. His leadership qualities and work ethic definitely made Louisville a better team and I think you attribute a lot of that from what he learned while playing two years under Larranaga. 

The financial impact of George Mason’s 2006 Final Four run

George Mason’s Final Four run of 2006 is of course in the news again due to Jim Larranaga and Miami playing in the Sweet 16 at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC. Besides all the trips down memory lane, I thought it was interesting some for financial numbers being talked about again. Some are comparing the costs for the NCAA tournament travel and other expenses for smaller schools that have made runs because of Florida Gulf Coast’s current position. ESPN’s Darren Rovell shares some interesting costs that George Mason had to fork over in 2006:

A source close to the George Mason athletic department told ESPN.com that the school lost hundreds of thousands of dollars that were not reimbursed during its 2006 run to the Final Four. One of the culprits: The school still had to pay for hotel rooms even though it played its Sweet 16 and Elite Eight games in Washington D.C., just 20 miles from the school. However, it was a good trade off as George Mason professor concluded that the team’s performance in the tournament that year was worth more than $677 million in free publicity to the school.
Crazy that Mason had to buy all those rooms even though they were so damn close to the Verizon Center but that’s the NCAA for ya. 
Rovell later tweeted that George Mason “lost hundres of thousands of dollars in travel costs” during the Final Four run due in large part to this factor. Not really a big deal consider the extra attention and funds the run brought the school after the fact. The NY Times has an article out detailing some of the figures:
There was a 25 percent surge in the number of alumni who were considered active with the university’s alumni association. A $100 million fund-raising campaign attracted $132 million in donations.

The George Mason bookstore took in more money in March 2006 ($800,000) than it did the entire rest of the year ($625,000). Enrollment in the annual summer basketball camp more than doubled. N.C.A.A. licensing revenue went up by $100,000.

I know a lot of people already knew this information but just found some if interesting and it’s such a bigger deal for schools like George Mason, VCU, and Florida Gulf Coast to make deep runs in the tournament

How to pick your bracket if you’re a George Mason fan

Sweet 16

Louisville – St. Louis

Is it ok to root for Luke Hancock? Why did he leave? Why won’t you accept my friend requests? God damn you’re so deceptively athletic, I can’t pick against you. EVER.

Middle Tenn St. – Creighton

Go mid-majors go! Remember when George Mason was that team all BCS bubble school fans hated? This year it’s definitely MTSU. 

Wichita St. – Wisconsin

Wow seems like ages ago when Mason beat Wichita State to not only get into the big dance but then advance to Elite Eight. Eh, I’ll guess I’ll pick them to hand an overrated #1 seed an upset.

New Mexico – Ohio State

I shouldn’t pick Ohio State to go this far because I should despise them. But every time I watch them play I say “oh that’s what it’s like to have a true point guard who runs an offense efficiently and actually plays defense.” Touche Buckeyes touche. Also them New Mexico boys ain’t bad. They did score eight points in the last 30-seconds against Mason earlier this year.



Kansas – VCU

God dammit, how is VCU a #5 seed?!? If I pick them I feel I will disgrace the Mason nation and if I don’t I know they will somehow make the Final Four again. If have to hear Jim Nance talk more about “Havoc” I might have to kill myself. Ah screw it. 

Indiana – Syracuse

Georgetown won’t make it this far so IU-Orange it is, they always kill my bracket, not this year Hoyas! Go Florida Gulf State!

Butler – Miami (FL)

I knew it I knew it I knew it. Coach L come back to Fairfax! If I don’t pick Miami they will win the national championship won’t they?!?!  How can I pick against them, I know damn well that scramble defense is going to eat the East region alive. Remember when Shane Larkin came to Mason Madness?? (sobs). Kill me now, get ready for Larranga’s million interviews this week comparing each win to 2005-2006.

Final Four picks:

Louisville – Ohio State

Luke, I just want you to be happy. I can’t quit you. Wait, I mean good luck, remember Peyton Siva is faster than you down the court! By the way I noticed you changed your phone number, no biggie, I know your probably busy with practices and stuff. Text me!

VCU – Miami (FL)

Oh perfect. Either way I’m pissed. Havoc once again meets scramble. Larranaga will win and will go on to say this is the best program he’s ever been around. Sticking it to Tom O’Connor and rightfully so. During the game their will be so many George Mason and CAA references that you mute the TV five minutes in and make the move to hard liquor. 

Happ March Madness!

[Photo by John Powell]



George Mason to face College of Charleston in first round of CBI

So the 2012-2013 season still goes on for George Mason and they have accepted a bid to the CBI tournament. Remember this isn’t the CIT and at least their are BCS programs in the mix. The Patriots take a road trip to future CAA member College of Charleston in the first round of the tournament Tuesday night. The full bracket is here and the game will be televised if you can find the Axs.tv channel on your TV. My FiOS plan has it and here is a channel finder if you dare to watch. On Friday we talked about the merits of continuing the season in this tournament and despite the disappointment of the year I think it’s good that they are doing it. 


A win against Charleston tomorrow night gets them either Texas or Houston in the next round. Fun fact, Rick Barnes, head coach of Texas, was George Mason’s head coach during the 1987-1988 season. The venue for that game in the semis is still TBD so another game at the Patriot Center might not be out of the question. Don’t know how many fans would actually show up for that one though. 

Let’s not forget VCU won this tournament in 2010 and then kind of had a good March the following year. Comparing George Mason’s situation to that isn’t the same but I do think the extra reps will be good for this team. They certainly have been humbled this year and with how they lost against Northeastern in the CAA tournament they must know that they need to put in hard work for next season. Why not start now, especially considering they will have six seniors next year. These tournaments serve a purpose for teams returning a lot of players and if anything it helps the younger guys like Marko Gujanicic and Patrick Holloway.

The way George Mason lost to Northeastern in the semifinals was the story of the season. We saw some flashes of excellence but then it was quickly negated by the team’s recurring fundamental problems. At least if Mason plays well in this tournament there will be a glimmer of hope going into next season. We’ll just have to see how seriously the players take this tournament.

[Photo by John Powell]