Sunday, March 19, 2006

Patriots Humble Heels

George Mason's smothering defense was too much for defending NCAA champion North Carolina today, as the underdog entry from the CAA ended the season for the ACC bluebloods: Mason 65, North Carolina 60.

The success that Mason, as a so-called “mid-major,” has demonstrated by making it to the Sweet Sixteen, as an at-large entry, is especially sweet to fans of the CAA. The brand of basketball played in the Colonial, where the players generally stay for four years, is appreciated by true fans of the game, who like to believe that teams still win games, not stars. Well, ask the Tar Heels.

In the ACC, Big Ten, etc., the best players usually leave in a hurry. George Mason doesn’t have anybody on its roster likely to be drafted by the NBA. North Carolina always has several. However, today the best team won. Kudos to the Patriots head coach Jim Larranaga.

And, kudos to the CAA’s commissioner Tom Yeager, who is pictured above talking with referee Karl Hess. Yeager worked long and hard to see this day.

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