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Fresno State: You're not the next George Mason

George Mason Basketball: Fresno State: You're not the next George Mason

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Fresno State: You're not the next George Mason

The College Baseball World Series ended last night with the Fresno State defeating Georgia 6-1. Now all the sudden they are being written up as cinderella heroes who were much bigger underdogs than the 2006 George Mason basketball team. Luke Winn of writes:

"The No. 4 slotting they received in the 64-team field was equivalent to a 13-16 seeding March Madness parlance, which means they were bigger long-shots than Villanova winning a basketball national title in 1988 or George Mason reaching a Final Four in 2006. With a final record of 47-31, Fresno finished with the most losses of any national champ in history."

I'm no college baseball ethusiast but last time I checked the men's basketball tournament had 64 teams too so I am not understanding how being a #4 seed makes you a huge underdog.

"What Fresno is doing at the very instant I write these words is as if a 13-seed somehow marched all the way through the NCAA basketball tournament and found itself in the title game."
I think it's funny how these writers are comparing such a feat to having success in the NCAA basketball tournament, which unlike the CWS actually has people watching it. Fresno State isn't American's darling like a small mid-major school taken down big conference giants. I mean wheres the pressure? Did they play in front of a massive crowd in the RCA dome along with millions watching on TV do win the championship? I mean how many casual sports fans even knew that Fresno State was even in the tournament? Was CBS shelling out billions to lock up the rights to broadcast the CWS recently? I don't think so. Now comparing them to Disney's Mighty Ducks, that I am OK with.


Blogger Carl the Big Fool said...

I believe they were #4 in the super-regional that led up to the College World Series itself, and each of the 16 super-regionals has 4 teams, so that's where the "13-16 seed" comparison comes from.

Not saying I buy it. The difference between "power conferences" and "mid-majors" is so much more significant in basketball than in baseball.

12:07 PM  
Blogger B-Mac98 said...

Sorry to be a grammar d!ck here, Ryan, but it's "You're" not "Your" in the headline.

4:55 PM  
Blogger send it to said...

thanks b-mac,i really need to proof read more

8:47 PM  
Blogger's good for you. said...

Ryan...feel free to ask for help (former English teacher and current tech. writer/editor). :)

Great points...NO ONE watches college baseball...I would only watch if Mason made it that far one day...

Will Nov. hurry up and get here? This wait is killing me.

8:00 AM  
Blogger A said...

The CWS has a HUGE following. Just because you don't watch it doesn't mean it's not popular.

And I'd argue that FS's win is a bigger accomplishment than GMU making it to the Final Four. They actually WON the tournament, despite facing elimination four or five times. They were the equivalent of a 16-seed.

The difference between the haves & have-nots in college baseball is even greater than college basketball. Eight teams have won 42 of the 62 titles, including 12 by USC, 6 by Texas and five each by Arizona St. and LSU.

11:46 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

You're right, they're not the "next George Mason." Fresno State actually won their tournament.

4:49 PM  
Blogger Downtown48 said...

@ Shiny/a/glenn:


5:08 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

let's not forget that Fresno had to win more than one game to win these series, it just wasn't a matter of catching an opponent sleeping once.

9:31 PM  
Blogger Simon said...

I don't really see how the popularity of a sport or tournament affects the difficulty of winning it. The CWS is played before a packed house in Omaha. Whether one or one million are watching at home doesn't impact the field of play.
FSU's feat was more impressive than GMUs.

10:14 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Why the need to compare? Both feats were impressive, and they were done in different sports.

1:47 PM  
Blogger jtp2106 said...

Just because you don't care about the CWS, doesn't make it matter any less to the Fresno players or anyone else in the tournament for that matter. Playing in the national championship game in any NCAA Division I sport is a huge deal, whether it's basketball or wrestling or whatever else you can think of. Don't diminish this accomplishment, because college baseball isn't as corrupt and hyped as college basketball. You come off as a bitter fan that is mad because somebody topped George Mason's run. Unlike George Mason, Fresno actually won the national championship. I doubt you played a sport in college, because then you'd know how intense it is to compete in a national tournament. Even if it's not televised on CBS or ABC.

2:49 PM  
Blogger BlueWorkhorse said...

I have to agree with most of the other people who have commented here...

The popularity of a sport does not determine the difficulty in winning a national tournament. The number of people watching on TV doesn't make a player any more nervous or anxious. Playing in front of a packed crowd is just as nerve racking in a baseball stadium as it is in a basketball arena.

On the other hand, we agree that Fresno St. isn't the Cinderella they were being portrayed as (but for much better reasons).

5:10 PM  
Blogger B-Mac98 said...

I still think that pitching is the ultimate equalizer... and in baseball (see MLB) the worst team wins enough 3-game series throughout a season to make me think that a baseball upset is much more likely to occur than a basketball upset.

A major difference in the two sports is that in baseball, you can take a team's best offensive player out of the game by walking him. You can't do that in basketball. The double team isn't nearly as effective as an intentional walk.

I don't want to downplay what Fresno State accomplished.... and you guys are right--they won the tournament. However, the stage and the pressure in major college basketball is much greater than it is in college baseball. It just is--the money that's on the line, the coaches who have less-than-zero margin for error or they're fired, the fact that CBS spent $6 billion on the rights to broadcast the NCAA tournament, and basketball is a revenue cash cow sport at all D-I universities (baseball isn't).

Don't forget that GMU beat three of the four previous national champions en route to the Final Four--an accomplishment that no other mid-major can lay claim to. Add in the fact that not one player from GMU's team was an NBA prospect (I believe a few Fresno State players were drafted), and it's hard to dismiss this argument that Mason's run to the 2005 Final Four wasn't a bigger deal.

It's like Dan Harrington said about the 2004 WSOP.... making the final table that year was a greater accomplishment than winning the tournament in any of the previous years. I feel that being a mid major and making the basketball final four as the last at-large selection in the field is a greater accomplishment than what Fresno State completed.

Still, both schools defied the odds and achieved great things. Congrats to Fresno State. This is a great debate!

1:01 PM  

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