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Davidson Isn’t This Year’s George Mason

curry_mri.jpgThanks to stupid GMU, from now until forever we are going to have to listen to the collective media ponder, “who is this year’s George Mason?” Unfortunately, there will probably never be a Tourney team like ’06 Mason, and this year is no different. Despite how obvious this is to me, it hasn’t stopped the hype machine from claiming Davidson is this year’s Mason — or at the least, claiming the two are similar.

Yes, they are/were both double-digit, mid-majors, but that’s where the similarities end. Three reasons why the two are completely different:

NBA Talent. Sure, Mason had quality players in seniors Jai Lewis, Tony Skinn and Lamar Butler, but none of them were really close to being NBA-caliber. They squandered around in European leagues for awhile never to be heard from again. Steph Curry, however, is a legit NBA guard who is currently projected to go 25th overall in next year’s draft.

Conference Domination. Davidson completely owns their conference. They’ve won the Southern tourney three years running, and have won the regular season nine times since 1996. Mason, on the other hand, split the regular season title with UNC-W in ’06, and prior to that hadn’t won it outright since 1999. The last year GMU won the conference tournament (before this season) was ’01, which was also the last time Mason was in the Tournament before ’06.

Out of the Blue. Mason wasn’t even supposed to be in the ’06 field of 64. They took Hofstra’s bid, a team that beat Mason twice that season, with both wins coming at the very end of the season, 10 days apart. You could say GMU was the Arizona to Hofstra’s Arizona State. Although unlike Arizona, who everyone had in this year, most had Mason out in ’06 (fuck you, Billy Packer). It was a complete surprise when their name was called on Selection Sunday. With Davidson, we knew it was a Tournament team before this season even started, one that was capable of winning a game or two. Also, this is Davidson’s third year in a row in the Tournament. They don’t have that “who the fuck?” factor that, say, Western Kentucky does, and Mason did.

Former Managing Editor at UPROXX; former Senior Editor at @SBNation; former ska-zine editor, fan of bad sports teams and good beer.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. WillBrinson

    March 26, 2008 at 12:32 PM

    Yeah, this is dead on. Davidson isn’t some dark horse out of nowhere team that’s making a miracle run — they’re a really good basketball team that no one really paid attention to because they are in the Southern Conference, despite playing UNC, Duke, UCLA and NCSU tough and having the nation’s leading assist man.

    Also, Davidson didn’t lose a single game in conference this year; it’s one of the few times in history (I think) that a D-1 school has won 20 games just on the strength of it’s in-conference schedule.

  2. Jamie Mottram

    March 26, 2008 at 12:37 PM

    True.

    That said, it’s awfully fun to watch Mr. Curry. Definitely rooting for Davidson over Wisconsin on Friday, and, really, outside of Madison, who isn’t?

  3. Renee78

    March 27, 2008 at 11:22 AM

    I’m a GMU alumni (02) and the CAA conference is very challenging with teams like VCU and UNC-W literally dominating the court. It makes a difference when you’re playing against teams like this who pretty much bring it over the course of their regular season and than loose, as VCU did to William and Mary, in the conference tournament. In my opinion the best thing about March Madness is seeing these mid-major teams, like Davidson, and Mason in 06, make it past teams that play in the ACC, SEC, Big 10, etc and prove unbelievers wrong. This year I was looking for an “underdog”, and although at the expense of winning over GT (which I’m also a fan), I’m glad Davidson advanced in the tournament. Although UNC will be a tough team to beat if by chance they were to face them like they did in the Elite 8 in 1969. Although the media may be overdoing it by comparing this team to GMU, the real point is that they made it and is bringing attention to the mid-major conferences that shouldn’t have been overlooked in the first place.

  4. David

    February 9, 2012 at 12:48 AM

    FUCK YOU, GMU is not STUPID,

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