FanDuel - WFBC

March 26, 2006

Brackets trashed around the country.: Although some people might of picked George Mason to upset Michigan State and even make the sweet sixteen, most were crying foul after they made the tournament over Hofstra. The Patriots have now proved everyone wrong as they have become the first mid-major to make the tournament after beating Connecticut in a huge upset today.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia to basketball at 04:35 PM - 41 comments

I don't think that there is any question that George Mason has been the surprise of the moment. The game itself was a thriller with George Mason almost throwing the game away with missed free throws at the end. I think that it is about time for a mid-major to make the Final Four, since the past few years we have witnessed mid-majors growing in talent. I think that this isn't just a victory for George Mason, but mid-majors as a whole.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 04:38 PM on March 26

Wow, what a game. I went from thinking that Mason was doing fine just to be in the game, to thinking that they should win, to thinking they were going to blow it, to being shocked at how it went to OT, to being stunned at how it ended. Not only did they miss some key free throws, but there were three or four possessions late in the second half where they rushed shots early in the shot clock and lost it, when they might've won comfortably if they'd stayed calm. (Which was a tall order for someone in their position.) They showed a lot of poise coming back strong in overtime after what could have been a devastating end to regulation. I went to George Mason, so I'm pretty thriilled.

posted by kirkaracha at 04:54 PM on March 26

Some missed free throws, yes, but some HUGE shots late in the game. Fantastic game, and this should put to rest the idea some of these mid-major teams don't belong in the field of 64.

posted by dyams at 04:58 PM on March 26

Kirk, you went to Mason? I'd never even heard of the place before this year.

posted by chicobangs at 05:23 PM on March 26

Yeah, I get that a lot. They've beaten half of last year's Final Four, and the last two national champions. The contrast in coaching styles was interesting. Jim Calhoun coached a finicky game for UConn, with lots of timeouts and substitutions. Jim Larranaga's last substitution for Mason was with 10:37 left in the game. He's done a great job getting his team relaxed and ready to play.

posted by kirkaracha at 05:25 PM on March 26

its wonderful for george mason, couldnt be happier for those guys. hope they win the whole thing! It would be awesome for a "lowly" 11 seed to win it.

posted by aaa76 at 05:35 PM on March 26

Mine was trashed long before this upset happened. Great win for GM.

posted by dbt302 at 05:41 PM on March 26

awesome game George Mason and their alums ..great victory.. i hope they win it all and they do have a chance ..underdog no more...

posted by rolandeblunt at 06:13 PM on March 26

As I'am posting this message, it looks like Florida will be playing G.Mason. Mason may have the same problem Villanova had,the inside game. George Mason truly a Cinderella team and my sentimental favorite to win it all. Also like chicobangs, I'd never heard of it GO G. MASON !!

posted by livedawhile at 06:32 PM on March 26

I was among probably all the non Connecticut-affiliated people around the country (and the people who had the Huskies on their bracket) who were yelling with joy when some of those shots went down. I love the underdogs and I wish I could have seen Hofstra in the tournament as well as opposed to, say, Air Force who bowed somewhat easily to Illinois inthe 1st round

posted by autzenrocker123 at 06:56 PM on March 26

I went to George Mason, so I'm pretty thriilled. Congratulations, Kirk! If my obscure alma mater ever got to the Final Four, I don't know if my heart could take it.

posted by rcade at 07:19 PM on March 26

I went to George Mason, so I'm pretty thriilled. Same here...except that I went to Florida.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 07:48 PM on March 26

If my obscure alma mater ever got to the Final Four, I don't know if my heart could take it. rcade, you're shorting your school. Nobody can truly call UNT "obscure" when this little nugget is part of your history.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 07:51 PM on March 26

What a great game. Congrats to George Mason.

posted by doggstarr at 09:20 PM on March 26

I said I had stopped watching, but Deadspin tipped off that GMU was leading. Glad I did, one of the best games I've seen in quite a while. Now I want to see if George Mason can advance. And to think CBS was complaining that on one would watch this thing without enough "big name schools."

posted by uglatto at 09:51 PM on March 26

Congrats to George Mason, they should have been playing the Washington Huskies but the refs had other plans..............GO George Mason.

posted by sonicdog at 10:11 PM on March 26

If my obscure alma mater ever got to the Final Four, I don't know if my heart could take it. I went to Eastern Michigan. Hell I was never even sure they HAD a basketball program. Wonder why I don't follow college B-ball much now?

posted by commander cody at 10:49 PM on March 26

Pretty crazy bracketing this year....congrats kirk...my evansville aces didn't even make the tournament...in fact they weren't even NIT as far as i know

posted by FozzFest at 11:21 PM on March 26

How much did the "home" court advantage help G Mason? UCLA same question? If my obscure alma mater ever got to the Final Four, I don't know if my heart could take it. North Texas has the Finest Jazz program in the country

posted by kbmusic at 01:16 AM on March 27

there goes another disney movie about a underdog team...

posted by CoolAsFawk at 07:23 AM on March 27

Well, I went to Uconn. So feel free to send flowers. George Mason did two things really well. Played great half court defense and shot the three. All of UConn's losses this year featured opponents' clutch three point shooting. George Mason is a legit basketball team, you can't go through those teams and not get some serious respect. Also, thank you to CBS for having Lundquist and Rafterty on that game. They didn't get caught up in the potential history the way Nantz would have. They were just calling a great basketball game the way it was happening.

posted by YukonGold at 07:30 AM on March 27

Despite his ability to shoot clutch threes, Rashad Anderson is now 9-2 when guaranteeing victory

posted by YukonGold at 07:36 AM on March 27

I wouldn't know a mid major from a psych major, but that was some stunning BBall. I think that they may have under-seeded George Mason. I think I have to root for them against Florida - but the spector of Yannick Noah's kid looms large.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 07:45 AM on March 27

Enjoy it while you can, kirk. The "Patriot Act" ends this weekend. Dance in them glass slippers all week, Cinderella! /thinking up an interesting wager...Gator alum to Patriot alum.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 08:05 AM on March 27

Perhaps if you win kirk would be compelled to feed an American flag to a loose alligator. On the steps of his local state capitol building.

posted by yerfatma at 08:35 AM on March 27

George Mason has already proven they can beat anyone, so we'll see what happens next week. That said, and considering that they won their first-ever NCAA tournament game last weekend, everything's gravy.

posted by kirkaracha at 09:03 AM on March 27

Perhaps if you win kirk would be compelled to feed an American flag to a loose alligator. On the steps of his local state capitol building. Like that would be at all out of place in California.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 09:09 AM on March 27

George Mason has already proven they can beat anyone, so we'll see what happens next week. There's no doubt about that. Florida has been pretty impressive and they've grown as a team over the last month or so with Noah leading the way, but they better be ready for a dogfight. on yesterday's game...it may sound silly but the 3-point play at the end of the first half felt like the difference. Definitely told me that Mason was gonna be in it to the end. 15-2 run up to that point and getting the hoop and the foul was a huge boost to go into the half. Down 9 instead of 12.

posted by YukonGold at 09:59 AM on March 27

I too was going to mention the Jazz program at UNT. Great school, go GM. I gotta pull for LSU, though I don't think they can beat UCLA.

posted by drtherc at 12:16 PM on March 27

Someone told me this morning that there are actually 4 people on the ESPN brackets that picked the final four. I want to know what kind of drugs they were using. I may want to use those same drugs next year, because this year in shot.

posted by bobrolloff at 01:12 PM on March 27

bob, when the Sweet 16 was firmed up, someone on ESPN News (I can't remember who; one of the newsbots) said that out of something like 3 million players in the ESPN brackets, not one had picked all 16 right, and only something like twelve people even got 15 of 16. Kind of glad I sat this year out.

posted by chicobangs at 01:29 PM on March 27

What impressed me the most about GM's victory,was that they didn't fall apart in OT.That is usually when all the wind goes out of the sails of an "upstart".They have proven once agin that B-Ball is a "team"sport,and when you play as a team,the only size that matters is the size of your valentines.As much as the SEC was belittled this year,for being "down",we got 2 in the final four,but I will still be pulling for George Mason. GO GM

posted by Tubby Fan at 01:30 PM on March 27

George Mason's new mascot!!!

posted by Grrrlacher at 02:13 PM on March 27

What a fantastic hoops weekend. For the rest of us who don't have a vested interest in the teams that made it this far, we get to go back to being fans of the game. Plus, I get to use my brackets to line my birdcage. An aside to kbmusic and drtherc: I went to Berklee College in Boston and while our basketball team left a lot to be desired (like for example, existence), we had a pretty good jazz program, too.

posted by THX-1138 at 02:14 PM on March 27

they beat the last two schools that won the championship, they didnt beat the last two TEAMS that won the championship, there is a difference. Late but I had to add it.

posted by Drallig9399 at 02:19 PM on March 27

Perhaps if you win kirk would be compelled to feed an American flag to a loose alligator. Actually, in keeping with the "Patriots vs. Gators" theme, I'd be more inclined to have Tom Brady fed to an alligator on the hallowed grounds of The Swamp.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 03:40 PM on March 27

as someone who doesn't follow basketball at all I generally only tune in now for college basketball (when it gets close to sweet 16). Anyway, not knowing anything about George Mason (other than the fact that I've never heard of them), I soon found myself rooting for the obvious underdog. Then the guy gets up to shoot the freethrows to seal the game in regulation and I'm jumping up and down saying "make it, make it!" and the announcers said "and what a story for this guy" for the man shooting the freethrows, and I was expecting a great heart-warming story about how his mother died and his sister has cancer...but then the announcer says "He lost it and punched a guy in the groin and was suspended earlier in the tournament" and every ounce of well-wishing I had just leaped out of my body. And maybe his missing the freethrow was the fact that at the same moment everyone whose as unfamiliar with these guys as me realized they were rooting for a hoodlum idiot to make a basket and become the hero and they lost their goodwill too :-) So I'm still glad they won, but I'm also glad that the hoodlum in question choked and someone else had to step up in OT.

posted by bdaddy at 03:43 PM on March 27

Well my alma marta made it to the elite eight. http://www.montevallo.edu/athletics/Basketball/Men/gamestorydiibulletin.shtm All be it a divison II school. Go Falcons maybe one day I will learn to use the "link" setup

posted by Folkways at 04:22 PM on March 27

Anyone notice that when Uconn got their biggest lead rhat Ed Nelson and Jeff Adrien where on the floor. So much for Uconns starting big guys. Did Calhoun not realise he had the game in his grasp if he had made more use of Nelson. Know he can't score but he can sure play defence.

posted by Dawnsdelight at 06:01 PM on March 27

hallowed grounds of The Swamp. Thank you for those most beautiful pictures. I actually sat about 20 rows to the left of that picture for an FSU game. I was @ 14 at the time, Prime Time was a Freshman for the 'noles. Gators won! That was before they enclosed the other endzone, I think. I remember a cannon going off when the Gators scored, is that right? If I recall correctly, I got to see John L. Williams and Neal Anderson running the ball. Not sure if Kerwin Bell was still @ QB? Sorry, for the aside, hoping TBH can help me with my memory. Was there really a cannon?

posted by tselson at 10:21 PM on March 27

Someone told me this morning that there are actually 4 people on the ESPN brackets that picked the final four. I want to know what kind of drugs they were using. I read a story about that somewhere, so it should be on Google News. The best part was that one of the guys thought he was picking George Washington instead of George Mason... he put in another bracket when he realized his mistake.

posted by Smackfu at 05:21 PM on March 29

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