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Who will be George Mason's BracketBuster opponent?

George Mason Basketball: Who will be George Mason's BracketBuster opponent?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Who will be George Mason's BracketBuster opponent?

This season the announcing of ESPN's Bracketbusters pairings are not as exciting for Mason fans as it normally has been in years past. The pairings will be announced Monday, January 30 at 6:30 pm on ESPNU. During this time last season we had a very good feeling about this event's game helping the Patriots get a bid to the NCAA tournament regardless of what happened in Richmond. However, we know this season that an at-large bid is out of the question for everyone in the CAA, so this game is basically an extra exhibition match for George Mason. I still am excited however to see this team take on someone from another conference and see if they can continue their winning formula outside the conference. 

As of right now Mason's RPI is at #116 (#110 on others sites) which won't help them get any of the prime TV spots for this event. The Patriots are a designated home team and usually they base the pairings off RPI and geographic location.  Judging by that criteria, I think they could get matched up with the following designated road teams:

-Buffalo (11-6, 4-2 MAC) RPI #90
-Drake (12-9, 5-5 MVC) RPI #105
-Lamar (12-8, 3-3 Southland) RPI #108
-Valparaiso (14-7, 7-2 Horizon) RPI #123
-UNC-Asheville (14-7, 9-1 Big South) RPI #135
-Fairfield (10-9, 5-3 MAAC) RPI# 139 - Bad memories from their last Patriot Center visit

With George Mason currently leading the CAA I think they have a good chance at getting a decent opponent.  Personally I'd like to see them host Drake but they don't make the most sense geographically and I think the coaches/conferences play a role in these pairings.  A Missouri Valley team this season would be an excellent in-season test before the CAA tournament.  Indiana State is another option but they have fallen to 3-7 in the MVC and I don't think they will match up a first place CAA team with a struggling MVC team even if their RPI is #122.  Buffalo makes the most sense, given their numbers and location.

What are your hopes/predictions for Mason's BracketBuster opponent?

[RPI numbers from]


Anonymous Christopher Hirsch said...

I wish that no one is injured in a meaningless game.

3:44 PM  
Anonymous Guest said...

I want drake or Valpo...I know Buffalo's RPI is higher, but I'd like us to play a team people know about.  I think we could still get an at-large as a conference though...Let's say the conference champ has 2 losses in CAA, makes it to the championship game, and loses to another top 4 CAA team. It may be in a "first four" situation, but still a slight glimmer of hope remains, atleast in my eyes

4:08 PM  
Anonymous gmu07 said...

Game may be meaningless but we still have young and less experienced guys on the roster. Every game helps their develpment, especially a guy like Copes who has missed time.

4:16 PM  
Anonymous Patriot74 said...

I was hoping for Nevada or St. Mary's but it probably wont happen. A)Because either one of those ballclubs will probably play Murray St.B)The geographical restrictions make it an unlikely matchup.

So with that said I hope we get either Valpo or the Buffalo Bulls.

6:13 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Did you see that the direct link to Athletics has returned to the GMU website?  Front and center where it belongs.  The power of GMUHoops!!

6:45 PM  
Anonymous commboy said...

For the at large situation, I can only see that to be possible if all top 4-5 CAA teams blow pass their opponents by 20+ points; middle CAA teams winning their games by 10+.

7:37 PM  
Anonymous Moses said...

Nevada Wolfpack but if not then Buffalo.

8:13 PM  
Anonymous GMURULES said...

I don't know why everyone is saying the game is meaningless in that national exposure is national exposure.  If we win, it would be a good win for this year and exposure for next, esp. for a recruit or selection committee.  It will also be against a decent team which will help prepare us for the CAA tourney.  We need this.

7:55 AM  
Anonymous Matt said...

Good points.

11:41 AM  
Anonymous Guest said...

You can win tickets by submitting a photo here:

11:53 AM  
Anonymous Guest said...

I don't think this game is a meaningless game as some are posting.  Since the CAA perfomed so poorly in the Non-Conference schedule, a good showing in these games will help boost our conference rankings and team RPI's.  Loosing most of the games will be a disaster.  Going against an MVC team would have the most future potential for us as they will probably be decent when we play them again in a year or two. 

1:08 PM  
Anonymous gmuhoops said...

I only use the term "meaningless" when I am referring to the out of conference schedule's impact on the team's post-season chances. This season they don't have a shot at an at-large bid so the game is meaningless in that sense.

1:17 PM  
Anonymous Guest said...

What about the NIT?  Yes, its the "not invited tournament" but there are quality teams in it and the best thing?  Our regular season champ is guaranteed a spot in the NIT and we could get another CAA team in there as well depending on their showing the rest of the season.  A good conference showing at Bracketbusters can still do a lot of good for the CAA this season...There is still potential for Mason and other CAA teams to extend their season, play some good teams, and get more national exposure.  I myself wouldn't mind seeing a home game in the NIT, Mason vs. lets say a BE school like Seton Hall, St. Johns, or even a team like Cal or USC could end up playing us in the NIT.

9:39 PM  
Anonymous Dsndsn said...

George Mason beat Lamar 65-63 in Mason's first D-I post-season appearance in the first round of the 1986 NIT.

7:22 PM  

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