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Left Out

George Mason Basketball: Left Out

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Left Out

The 2006-2007 season is over for George Mason and for some it could not have come soon enough. As much as I would love to see the Patriots continue playing they just did not have a case for an NIT bid, especially since they reduced the field from 40 to 32 teams. The team was wildly inconsistent and didn't really play together well until this March. But if anything, this season showed how the CAA is getting stronger and getting more exposure. ODU was able to get an at-large bid to the dance and Drexel got snubbed. Its really not fair for a Drexel team that did what all mid-majors have to do to get respect: go on the road and win. Drexel did that, winning 14 (NCAA-best) on the road including Syracuse, Villanova, St. Joseph's, and Creighton. The committee has always stated that you need to go out on the road and beat somebody, yet they pass over Drexel for Illinois, Arkansas, and an 18-12 Stanford team for a bid. ODU and VCU were in so I guess that was all the CAA teams the committee could stand. And the say that conference affiliation doesn't matter; stack up Drexel's computer numbers and stats against Illinois, Arkansas, Purdue, and Stanford and theres really no argument you can make to put all those teams in ahead of Drexel. This is what makes mid-major fans different from major conference fans; we root for our whole conference. We have to root for our whole conference because overall conference success is the only way to get respect. Sure Mason didn't make it this year, but because the CAA was able to get another at-large birth this year that always gives more opportunities and hope for next year. The fact that we don't have to worry about winning our conference tournament anymore as the only way to get to the dance is a huge step for the conference and all its members. Although I still hate rooting for ODU and VCU, I know their success will continue what Mason started last year. Plus I also have both of them winning first round games in my bracket.

For the next couple of days be ready to hear every commentator during the first round games of the tournament try to predict who will be "this years George Mason". I already have an answer: they won't be one. Its amazing how one minute every analyst and expert is talking about how Mason's run last year was so amazing and one of the best college basketball stories of all time; then the next minute they cheapen it and act like its going to happen every year.


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