Thanks 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