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Bracket Blunder

George Mason Basketball: Bracket Blunder

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Bracket Blunder

Last year at this time our showdown on ESPN's Bracketbuster Saturday was a defining game against fellow mid-major power Wichita State that helped give the Patriots some needed exposure and a "marquee win" to be considered for an at-large bid. This year our bracketbuster game was a reminder that not only can we not beat the top teams in our conference, but we can't beat top teams in other mid-major conferences either. This 6th home loss is nearly the amount of combined home losses the Patriots have had over the last four years. The game was shown on ESPN360, which is an internet TV station or something; it doesn't really matter because its not available anywhere except Alaska I think. Most of the Mason faithful was looking forward more to the tailgate party at Brion's Grille than the actual game as this years homecoming had a huge turn out. For some reason GMU decided to ban students and alumni from bringing their own alcohol to the tailgate festivities outside the Patriot Center. Usually this is the only fun you will ever have a GMU sponsored event on campus and yet they found a way to ruin it. The Patriots did play a hard fought game but were never able to get a lead greater than four points. But much like a lot of their previous losses there were unable to close the game out and let Kent State back into the game late as they were outscored 9-2 in the closing minutes. The Patriot guards went back to their cold shooting, Dre Smith had some nice three pointers in the first half than went 0 for 6 in the 2nd. Campbell and Vaughan both missed shots late in the game that would have given the Patriots a chance. Campbell injured his hamstring late in the game but it did not look too serious. Will Thomas had 12 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 blocked shots as he has been the teams MVP all season long. Monroe had 12 points and has been averaging about 11 over the last 5 games; a good sign for the future of this team. Tim Burns came off the bench and nailed back to back three pointers and energized the crowd but Patriots ended up committing three consecutive turnovers and missing 5 out their 6 last shots to close out the game. Thats just pathetic to lose like that at home, I don't know what else to say about it.


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