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What's at stake for George Mason in the CAA tournament this weekend

George Mason Basketball: What's at stake for George Mason in the CAA tournament this weekend

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

What's at stake for George Mason in the CAA tournament this weekend

click to enlarge (image by DarrenJCosta)
While a bunch of bracket projection experts are saying George Mason should be a lock for the NCAA tournament that doesn't mean the Patriots are taking this weekend's CAA tournament lightly. It's easy to say Mason doesn't have much to play for in this tournament but that is not a fair statement.  Here are a few things that are at stake for the Patriots this weekend, besides locking up the easiest path to an NCAA tournament bid:  

Winning the CAA tournament is always the coaching staff's #1 goal before the season starts. We might all be talking about the big dance but for the players and staff they have one goal on their minds and that's cutting down the nets in Richmond this upcoming Monday. I've already talked about how anything can happen on Selection Sunday and winning the CAA auto-bid is the best way to go about it each year regardless of how well the team is performing. It's a sense of pride and accomplishment to the players and staff for the all the hard work they have put in this season.

This weekend could affect George Mason's seeding.  How well the Patriots perform this weekend could be the difference between them getting a 7, 8, or 9 seed in the tournament.  Why is that important? Look at how the brackets are laid out, an 8 or 9 seed winner would play the 1 seed in their region in the 2nd round, while a 7 seed winner would face the winner of the 2 vs 15 seed in the next round.  The difference between the 1s and 2s isn't as much as it usually can be in March but this is still an interesting thing to ponder.  The fact remains that winning the CAA would guarantee George Mason getting the highest seed possible and I think the experts projecting them as a 7 seed are factoring that into their forecasts.

Extending the winning streak into the NCAA tournament would be huge.  The teams that perform that best in March are usually the ones that are riding hot streaks entering the tournament.  The Patriots have to be feeling like they can beat anyone right now and I think they need to maintain that mindset in order to do their best in the NCAA tournament.  Some people have told me they had hoped Mason would lose just so they would come back to reality and get one last wake up call before things get serious. I don't agree with that, why would want them to lose? They are winning because they are playing a high level and out-performing teams night in and night out. Why would you want to disrupt that flow?  Continuing to ride that hot streak into the big dance would be something special and I think allow them to do the most damage.

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Anonymous Matt Cerilli said...

Besides NOTHING is more gratifying than beating VCU in the tournament (especially after last year)

10:45 AM  
Anonymous gmuhoops said...

VCU's got to beat Drexel first, whose been playing better than they have

10:54 AM  
Anonymous EShine said...

These guys want to win this thing. They've said all along that they want to make their own history; cutting down those nets and hanging that championship banner cements their conference accomplishments in the history books. They dont care about 3 CAA teams in the NCAA's. They only care about one team.

I dont want them to lose. As strong as the CAA is this year, there will be no easy games this weekend. The winner on Monday will definitely earn their spot and will have incredible confidence going in to the NCAA tournament. I want that to be us.

The 2006 team played the "underdog" and "disrespect" card. These guys are different. They have a swagger that they can beat anyone in basketball. Cutting down the nets on Monday will reinforce their view of themselves and keep them focussed on making more noise in March.

10:59 AM  
Anonymous Reggie said...

Huskies can score an upset. Dragons beat Louisville. ODU beat us. Tribe played the Cuse tough. Madison has family disfunction but is talented. Hofstra has an NBA prospect leading them. VCU is at home. This conference is no gimme.
The NCAA's is gravy and a reward for being a damn good team. The CAA title is what's important, and a trip to the dance is have fun, nothing to lose time. We're not going to win the national championship. So be dominant now.
Best regards,
Coach L.

7:49 PM  
Anonymous c hirsch said...

I have a feeling ODU is going to take it, beating us in the Finals, but I'd be happy to be wrong.

Also, agree with Ryan, VCU is going down to Drexel. VCU this year reminds me of Mason from last year, stumbling down the stretch, don't think the confines of Richmond Coliseum will turn that around. Not like their actual home gym has been helping them, they lost three in a row there to close the season.

10:59 AM  
Anonymous Charlie T said...

You and EShine said it best. The bottom line is to win and play well doing it. They understand who can beat them and what can beat them but they also know when they are at their best they are the best. What we really can not do is put ourselves in a position where we need to be be bailed out by Cam or anyone else. That works nice in the regular season but in a tournament staying away from lulls and once again breaking the will to resist is what works. When our defense is scoring on turnovers and our offense on execution and our assist ratio is in double figures no one in this league can keep up. Could be wrong but JMU may make some noise.

12:53 PM  
Anonymous Miguel Cuya said...

Go Mason!

9:16 PM  

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