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First look at Villanova

George Mason Basketball: First look at Villanova

Monday, March 14, 2011

First look at Villanova

#8 George Mason vs #9 Villanova - East Region - Cleveland, OH. Friday 2:10 pm on TNT (Gus Johnson/Elmore)

First some video from last nights selection show viewing at the JC from the Washington Post:

The Patriots have drawn Villanova in their first round (technically 2nd round I guess) game in the NCAA tournament.  Sure we can all argue about being in what most would say is the toughest region and the reward for beating Villanova ends up having to face the number 1 overall seed in Ohio State. But let's take this one game at time.  Because let's face it at the beginning of the season if you had told us this team would be the higher seed in their first NCAA tournament game as an at-large we all would have called you crazy.  We have watched this Patriot team really develop into something special this season and I'm glad they were rewarded for their impressive regular season.  

When talking about Villanova it's hard for most fans to forget last season in Puerto Rico. Mason had built a 13 point lead but fell short in the final seconds off a three-pointer from then freshman Isaiah Armwood who had not yet taken a shot in the game prior to that.  The media in Philadelphia is already saying this is not going to be an easy game for the Wildcats, who enter the NCAA tournament on a five game losing streak and have lost 10 of their last 15. Their last win came in OT against Big East bottom feeder DePaul. Earlier in the season Villanova was rolling and won 16 of their first 17 games, at one point they were ranked 6th in the nation.  

The NCAA tournament gives Villanova a chance to prove they are worthy and it's always a chance for teams to start fresh.  The Wildcats still have a ton of talent and they play in the most stacked conference in Division I basketball.  Corey Fisher and Corey Stokes are both healthy now and can score in bunches. Overall the team has been banged up all season and in their last game center 6'10" Mouphtaou Yarou took a hard fall and needed stitches on his cheek and was seen later with ice wrapped around his ribs.  The team has been sloppy lately, squandering leads in the second half, having trouble in-bounding the ball, and going on long scoring droughts.

Back to that game last season in Puerto Rico, if you remember Larranaga created mismatches that gave Villanova fits for most of the game. He opened up opportunities for Luke Hancock, Ryan Pearson, and Kevin Foster and exploited a lot of the Wildcats holes on defense.  In the end the Patriots were dominated on the boards and yielded a ton of offensive rebounds.  This year's Mason squad knows the important of making the efforts on the glass and it will no doubt be a priority in this game.  

Don't forget to join the Bracket Challenge:



Anonymous c hirsch said...

Gus Johnson on the call!?! The chances for Mason Magic just went way up.

Am I reading it right that Drexel isn't in any postseason tournament?

11:10 AM  
Anonymous Mooky_l3d said...

I like all of the haircuts they all look so much younger now. Fresh cuts, Fresh start.

11:50 AM  
Anonymous Mooky_l3d said...

Oh yeah, GO MASON!!!!!

11:50 AM  
Anonymous Charlie T said...

As usual thanks,on my way to Cleveland and beyond.

12:22 PM  
Anonymous Will Hancock said...

Rooms are booked in Cleveland and new shirts are ordered. GO MASON!!

1:20 PM  
Anonymous c hirsch said...

You all are better fans than me. Cleveland is way too depressing for me to spend any money on visiting.

2:17 PM  
Anonymous Chris said...

It looks like the CAA got snubbed in the NIT. I thought that Drexel/Hofstra and/or JMU should have been in it.

3:10 PM  
Anonymous c hirsch said...

At least JMU and Hofstra will have a chance to keep the CBI Championship in the CAA! Yee-haw!

3:12 PM  
Anonymous Kdenton1 said...

People who are staying in the Fairfax area for the game... where you watchin'?

4:46 PM  
Anonymous Airgold10 said...

@c hirsch Gus Johnson's announcing is beyond epic. I felt like we got shafted in a way in 2006 because he never announced of the games. Looking forward to him on the call!

2:34 AM  
Anonymous Mason guy said...

Len Elmore is also always very friendly to Mason. I will never forget his "Touchdown!" when Jai Lewis caught a floor length over the shoulder pass for a jam against Michigan State.

This game is winnable, but the guys will really have to bring it. And if they do advance--they will be back in green (kryptonite!).

6:13 AM  
Anonymous Charlie T said...

Rooms are set,tickets are set. Transportation is still a bit up in the air since I do not know what time we will play on Sunday if we fly. That has to be aTV thing but any insight would help. This first game is a true bracketbuster and these are the type of games that should be played in February. Top level Mids vs Middle level BCS at Mids home court. Perhaps then we will not have to listen to the ESPN group slam VCU.

11:07 AM  
Anonymous David Clar said...

As a Villanova grad I'm not happy. George Mason scares me! They have a great team! I would much rather see Nova play Washington than George Mason!

3:10 PM  

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