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Dead or Alive

George Mason Basketball: Dead or Alive

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Dead or Alive

The regular season has come to an end for George Mason and they went out with one of the worst losses in Coach Larranaga's tenure. The final score against Northeastern saturday was 73-50 but trust me, it wasn't even that close. With this loss Mason broke its streak of 9 consecutive seasons with 10 or more conference wins. A streak that you often heard Larranaga boast about during interviews last March because Mason was one of only 8 teams in the entire country to maintain such a streak. It would was something that Mason fans could always count on but after failing to beat any of the top 4 teams in the CAA it was evident that this was a new dawn in the conference. OK, Campbell wasn't 100% but that doesn't explain Thomas scoring only 8 points and the team shooting below 40% from the free throw line. Mason played terrible defense against some of the Huskies better shooters, Bobby Kelly started off the game 5-5 from the field and him and Matt Janning were able to pull off three pointers with ease. Sound familiar? It became obvious in the 2nd half that Larranaga was going use his teams lackluster play as a chance to give a breather to most of his starters as no one played more than 25 minutes. None of the Patriots were able to reach double digits in points, even with most of the 2nd half being garbage time.

The CAA tournament begins this Friday and Mason will be a #6 seed playing #11 seed James Madison. The winner of this game will play #3 Hofstra on Saturday. What are Mason's chances? I would have had a much better opinion before watching the Northeastern game yesterday but I still think Mason has the best chance of the 5-12 seeds to make some noise. Although the team has been wildly inconsistent, its still a one and done tournament, something the Mason roster has more experience in and a lot of the other CAA don't. A good convincing win might be all the confidence a team needs to power its way to the finals. The CAA is probably the most competitive right now then its been in a long time as even bottom feeders UNCW and William and Mary have proven they can pull off some upsets this season against the big boys. The most important thing about the tournament is that its a fresh start for every team. Sure the top 4 seeds have a first round bye but the fact remains that everyone has a chance to win the tournament and earn that NCAA tournament auto bid.


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