Mason’s season officially over after CBI loss to Loyola
George Mason will play in the CBI, host Loyola (MD) Wednesday night
Mason falls to VCU in Atlantic 10 quarterfinals
Mason survives and advances over Fordham in OT

Revolutionary Beat Down

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George Mason has yet to beat George Washington since joining the Atlantic 10 and last night they were blown out at home by the Colonials. The officiating was pretty awful and made the game nearly unwatchable but Mason still was not able to get anything going on offense all night or make any stops on defense. GW connected on 11-of-19 three-pointers and denied Mason in the paint all night. On both ends of the court Mason looked frustrated and let their early mistakes dictate the rest of their game. They would go on runs to close to gap within single digits but then the Colonials would respond with a three-pointer or easy basket inside each time it seemed. Mason also had trouble defending GW’s bigger players Tyler Cavanaugh and Yuta Watanabe who seemed to score at ease inside.

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Mason takes down first place Richmond

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George Mason bounced back after their loss to last place Saint Louis with a road win against first place Richmond. Since joining the Atlantic 10 in 2013 Mason is now 5-1 versus the Spiders and today’s win brought them to .500 within the conference at 3-3. Mason got off to a great start in the first half and led by as much as 23 points. They had to fight off a big Richmond run late in the second but their victory on the boards and at the free-throw line prevented them from letting this game slip away. Marquise Moore had his 12th double-double on the season with 25 points, 10 rebounds, and even three blocks. One of which was on 6’9″ TJ Cline that definitely deserves some recognition. Jalen Jenkins had success in the post against Cline and was able to get him into early foul trouble. That gave Mason a chance to build a solid lead for the majority of the game because the rest of the Spiders were struggling from the field. Defensively it was another great effort, as they continue to defend well on the road this season.

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Selection Sunday Preview

Selection Sunday is now a big a national holiday for sports. When the bracket is revealed for the NCAA Tournament, pitting 68 teams in the hunt for the National Championship, it gets fan hyped up. College basketball fans and offices around the country then flock to find a bracket, fill it out, and hope in win big money prizes or just bragging rights.

Selection Sunday also sparks hours of coverage and expert analysis because once the bracket is revealed, everyone dives into the match-ups. They look at who could move on after the first round, who has the best chance of pulling off the upset, the next Cinderella, and the two teams in the title game. It consumes hours of television on ESPN and CBSSports, until the First Four takes place between four lower seeds in the field of play.

All of this makes for an exciting few hours for sports, as fans will tune in to see everything unfold. It’s arguably one of the most dramatic parts of TV for sports too, especially for the schools on the bubble. They wonder if they’ll make it into the field and see how high their seeds will be. For some, it provides heartbreak, while others celebrate on being in the tournament.

Selection Sunday process can sometimes drag, however, and many criticize that the RPI carries too much weight. This leads to lots of disagreement about who should be in or out. The actual Selection Sunday Show expanded to two hours in 2016, which spaced out the announcement of all four regions. It added unnecessary drama to something that had plenty of entertainment to it as it is. We’ll see if they go forward with this in 2017, which could lead to more criticism on how Selection Sunday is presented. To follow along with Selection Sunday 2017, it can be seen on Sunday, March 12 with all 68 teams being announced. Who will make it into the NCAA Tournament?

Marquise Moore continues to put up ‘mind-boggling’ stats

DSC_0715Marquise Moore seems to be on track to a first-team all-conference selection at the end of this season. His unique style for a guard his size has caught the attention of a lot of folks in the college basketball world and it’s been a fun story line to follow this season. Here is the latest ‘well how about that’ stat from the Atlantic 10’s Chris DiSano:

“Moore does all of his destruction inside the arc, making his numbers that much more impressive. He’s made exactly zero three point shots on the season, only attempting seven. He ranks sixth in the league in scoring and is the only player in the top 10 to not have made at least 20 three-point shots.”

It is amazing that Moore can continue to score at such a high level, as a guard in today’s college hoops game, without three-pointers. On top of that he’s got 50 more rebounds than the next closest A-10 competitor for the league lead in that statistic. Wow.

[Photo by Bill Bride]

Taking a look at George Mason through the rest of Atlantic 10 play

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George Mason has gotten off to an erratic start to conference play in the Atlantic 10 but picked up some nice wins against UMass and Saint Joseph’s. They played pretty well against VCU and St. Bonaventure but then laid an egg against last place Saint Louis in their last outing. It’s certainly gut check time for the team as they have a real chance to stay closer to the top of the A-10 with all the other teams beating up on each other. Just last night VCU lost to Fordham and even Duquesne has two conference wins already. No easy outs this year in conference play and Mason needs to get back to their gritty style that won them nine straight earlier in the season. Let’s take a closer look at Mason through the rest of conference play in 2016-17.

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Mason still can’t beat Saint Louis for some reason

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Yesterday afternoon George Mason lost to Saint Louis for the third straight time in less than a year. The level of effort and execution was just not there for Mason and it was probably their worst performance on the season. Nothing was going right from the start and early fouls on Marquise Moore and Jalen Jenkins really ground the offense to an early halt. It didn’t get much better in the second half even though they shot the ball much better from the field. Everyone seemed to be missing shots at the foul line and just making bad decisions on both ends. The overall flow of the game was weird from the start and the fouls called were inconsistent but Mason still had plenty of chances to climb back in. They only had 11 turnovers on the day but it seemed like Saint Louis was able to capitalize on every single one of them (14 points off turnovers). Sure the Billikens were desperate for a win and it definitely seemed like they wanted it more, but when Mason has been out-willing their opponents all season long with better effort; it was difficult to watch them go down in this one.

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Mason uses strong second half to beat Saint Joseph’s on the road

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Last night George Mason improved to 2-2 in the Atlantic 10 and got their first ever win over Saint Joseph’s. It was a close game at the half but Mason played very well in the second and got another stellar performance from Marquise Moore. Moore had 24 points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists and became just the second player in Mason history to post 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 300 assists in a career. You may remember Cam Long reached this feat a few years ago. Mason was able to overcome Jalen Jenkins fouling out early and made some critical shots in the last three minutes including a three-pointer from Otis Livingston II. They finished the night shooting 50% from field and had the edge on free-throw attempts and the boards. They also got good contributions from Ian Boyd, Justin Kier, and Karmari Newman who again showed off his three-point shooting.

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Mason comes up short on the road at St. Bonaventure

screenshot-2017-01-08-07-04-02George Mason came up short yesterday at St. Bonaventure 82-72 in a game where they undid themselves. Too many little mistakes piled up and negated a strong effort by the team. Entering this game the Bonnies had an extremely efficient offense and while Mason kept it close for most of the game, they gave them too many second chances opportunities. They had a poor day at the free-throw line, even Otis Livingston II was missing them, turned over the ball 15 times, and gave up a lot of offensive rebounds. Credit the Bonnies for making Mason’s strength a weakness in this one and they also didn’t let any many runs happen. Every time Mason did start to make a run St. Bonaventure answered with a three it seemed. Mason fought hard and played better in the second half, it was pretty even but they couldn’t seem to dig themselves out from earlier trouble.

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George Mason beats UMass in gritty battle

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George Mason evened their conference record last night with an 86-81 win over Massachusetts at home. Mason had no trouble getting to the foul line in this one after struggling to do so against VCU last Friday. However they left a lot of early points on the court early on but bounced back having 21 more free-throw attempts than the Minutemen. Earlier on it was a run-and-gun battle and UMass was capitalizing on a lot of open looks. Mason played a very good second half with smart defensive adjustments and a balanced scoring attack. Marquise Moore was one rebound shy of yet another double-double but Jaire Grayer had the best night with 16 points, eight rebounds, two blocks, and three three-pointers. Also Grayer and Otis Livingston II had big three-pointers to cap off a big run that sealed the victory for Mason.

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