Sunday, March 26, 2006

George Mason Goes to the Final Four

Congratulations to Virginia's George Mason University, headed for the Final Four:

George Mason is no longer the cute little underdog. The Patriots, by golly, are going to the Final Four.

The suburban commuter school from Fairfax, Va., beat top-seeded Connecticut 86-84 in overtime Sunday in the Washington Regional final, ending the stranglehold that big-time programs have enjoyed for 27 years in college basketball's biggest showcase.


The Patriots became the second double-digit seed to make the Final Four, matching LSU's run, also as an 11th seed, in 1986. The Colonial Athletic Association team is the first true outsider to crash the Final Four since Penn and Indiana State both got there in 1979. The Patriots, whose at-large selection was roundly criticized, celebrated after the final horn by standing on the press row table and waving their shirts to their fans.


George Mason (27-7), having by far the best season in school history, had never won an NCAA tournament game until it beat half of last year's Final Four -- Michigan State and No. 3 seed North Carolina -- back-to-back in the first two rounds. Now it can say it has beaten the last two national champions -- Connecticut and North Carolina.

As you may recall, George Mason's amicus brief was the only one to get it right in the case of Greedy, Pretentious Academics vs. Rumsfeld.

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