Sunday, March 26, 2006


from cnnsi:

Extending the most improbable run in Big Dance history, 11th-seeded George Mason upset the Huskies 86-84 in overtime to win a trip to the Final Four.

I was so upset on Friday when the Washington Huskies were unable to close the deal, even though they played the better game - getting to what seemed like every loose ball, creating a season high # of turnovers for UCONN.

I figured George Mason would have little chance against UCONN. The Huskies would have been giant just woken up from a nap and would go for the jugular. After their scare against Washington, they would face a very low seeded team from the Colonial conference to get in to the final four.

But GMU just became the first 11 seed to make it to the Final Four since LSU in 1986.

With Kansas long gone, I can't think of a better way for the villainous UCONN Huskies to get bounced.

Who would have thought that the final four would exclude both Duke and UCONN?


  1. That was a great game.

    I'm rooting for the patriots to win it all now that both of my teams are out.

  2. My Final 4 picks were so conservative I was a bit embarrassed--three #1 seeds and Kansas. I can't believe I went 0 for 4. The only consolation is I know I wasn't the only one.

    I've got to give Chris some credit; he postulated in an earlier thread that losing to the 'cuse in the Big East tourney did not bode well for UConn, and sure enough they played poorly throughout the NCAAs. The only thing better would have been if they'd lost to Albany, as they deserved to ...

    Matthew Yglesias and those who think like him (see below post) probably see this as confirmation that the tournament rewards mediocrity. But the fact of the matter is, the UConn players thought they could sleepwalk their way through--the look of entitlement on their faces was palpable--and they paid the price. In the NBA they could have gotten away with their lackluster performance and lived to fight another day, but not here. Justice was done. Effort, intelligence and passion won out over raw talent and size.

    As a new resident of Arlington, VA, I can now say that my local team is in the Final Four. I tried rooting for Kansas, then Wichita State, little realizing that everything I needed was here all along ...

  3. I agree completely--this tournament (except maybe one game I wish had gone the other way) has been excellent; I'd take the excitement and unpredictability (again, minus that one game) over the excellence of the NBA any day.

    And even though, like Deron, none of my final 4 picks made it, at least I can be consoled by the millions of people there with me.

  4. ps,
    Me too, Scott: Patriots all the way!

  5. I agree that the fall of Duke and UConn is most gratifying, but I was disappointed with the results in three of four regional finals, despite the fact that the technical underdog won in all three.

    I'd have liked to see Memphis advance, out of loyalty to Scotty. Plus, their defeating UCLA would have been an upset in a way, since they don't have as illustrious a history and all the pundits (myself included) saw them as the weakest 1 seed.

    I concur with YHD in my distaste for Texas (does Barnes ever run any offense?) and I have nothing against LSU, but I'd still have liked to see one Big 12 team in there rather than two from the SEC.

    And while it was cool in a way to see the Big East lay a goose egg, I much prefer Villanova, with the four-guard lineup, to Florida. I've never liked Billy Donovan, and that whiny, preening Joakim Noah (despite being an impressive talent) is getting on my nerves already.

    So I'm in agreement with YHD and Scott: Go Patriots!

  6. I like this Florida team better than recent Gator squads, but I would have prefered Nova.

    I'll pull for GMU and LSU, and obviously GMU in the finals.

    I have a chance in my yahoo group as I have LSU in the finals, but if either UCLA or Florida advance, I'm toast.

    UCONN's victory on Friday was hard for me. Calhoun's boys were dogging it for a half, and he was harrassing the refs. I'm not sure why, as UCONN went to the line 47 times. 47.

    It's even more impressive that GMU beat them on a night when they brough their A-game. They beat a UCONN team playing at or near their best.

  7. UConn didn't choke against GMU, but I don't think they played to their capabilities. Their perimeter defense was passive, and Rudy Gay seemed to be the only one playing with any fire.

    Not to take anything away from GMU. They hit big shot after big shot, and fought like crazy for every rebound and loose ball against a MUCH taller team. Damned impressive, that.

    Is it $10 I owe you for the pool, CR?

  8. CR, you'd have liked what (former KU nemesis) Doug Gottlieb said on ESPN radio this morning: that GMU's victory was essentially a triumph of "good over evil."

    Not that Calhoun or his players were evil, but that they represented the corruption of big-time college basketball: great talent but more interested in boosting their own NBA profiles than the team concept.

    (However, the Hofstra player who was intentionally punched in the groin by GMU's Tony Skinn might not entirely agree with this analysis of who's good and who's evil).

  9. ...and yet more UConn playa-hating for CR's enjoyment, this time from Slate's Josh Levin, on the regional semi:

    "UConn, a team of listless lawbreakers led by a cheating gasbag of a coach, was losing to my friend Chris' beloved Washington Huskies by double digits in the second half. They were going to suffer a brutal, deserved defeat. But I was rooting for Connecticut—I had picked them to win the championship and couldn't afford the upset. Shockingly, UConn won thanks to some egregious officiating and a lucky buzzer-beating 3."