ATLANTA -- George Mason may be two seasons removed from its historic Final Four run, but the Patriots still have a big target on their back.
That was evident on Wednesday afternoon, when the Colonial Athletic favorites were stunned at the buzzer 66-64 by Georgia State, a team that will more than likely finish in the basement of the league.
"Once you see George Mason [on the jersey], you know about the Final Four and you see a good team," said senior
Georgia State had been struggling as first-year coach
"It was a great win for our program," Georgia State coach
While expectations for George Mason were realistically tempered at the beginning of last season, the team still had to endure the pressure of trying to live up to its new-found fame. A Final Four banner was proudly hung in the Patriot Center, record crowds came to see what this team was all about and Mason had more regular season television exposure than it ever before. Newcomers
"I remember after the Wichita State game,
Mason had an uneven season in 2006-07, then turned it on in the CAA tournament and came within minutes of getting back to the NCAA tournament. While there was clear disappointment after the Patriots lost to VCU in the conference finals, there was some relief that The Year After was finally over.
"I was new coming in, so there was a little pressure on me because you don't want to be one of the reasons the team doesn't do as well and go to the Final Four," Smith said.
The Final Four pressure has been replaced by expectations to win the conference this year. But Mason lost Monroe for the season to a toe injury, and senior point guard
"Because of our run in 2006, we don't get anybody's 'B' or 'C' game," Larranaga said. "We get everybody's 'A' game."
While the first reaction by many college hoops analysts to
Setting aside the murky explanations of coach
So if there are no tangible benefits for the future of the program or the current season, why would Gore-Mann make this move? She has declined to comment on the reasons for Evans' leave of absence, and Evans has said there was no wrongdoing, so what's the deal? Gore-Mann owes her Dons fans a clearer explanation.
Sutton's motives are obvious. He wants 800 career wins. A DUI forced him to retire from Oklahoma State with 798 wins in 2006, and he wants to join
The pursuit of 800 wins, especially when Sutton only needs two, is not going to generate much fanfare for the San Francisco program. Which brings us back to the original question: What is in this deal for San Francisco?
"This is one of the greatest atmospheres in college basketball, and it was an unbelievable opportunity to play here," Ginty told
The glory was short-lived for both Ginty and San Diego. Ginty shot 1-for-4 from the three-point-range in his next game as San Diego fell to Marshall 76-60.
Drake extended its winning streak to 10 games with a 61-51 win over Southern Illinois, the preseason Missouri Valley Conference favorites. The Bulldogs were led by sophomore
Drake drew a season-high 6,821 fans for the showdown with Southern Illinois, which dropped to a surprising 6-7 and 1-1 in the MVC. The Salukis' streak of six straight NCAA tournaments looks like it will end unless SIU can win the conference tournament in St. Louis at season's end.
After a two-week vacation, we're down to two teams nationally who are still looking for that elusive 'W' -- New Jersey Institute of Technology and Grambling. Grambling has played less than half (7) of the games NJIT (16) has played and only has a 25-game schedule. The Tigers host Alabama State (4-5) on Saturday night, a team it beat last March. NJIT travels to Penn (4-6) on Saturday night.