Monday, March 27, 2006


It's hard to explain how mind-boggling it has been for me to watch George Mason University's amazing journey to the Final Four. In past years I was usually able to catch one or two GMU basketball games way up the dial on channel 629. Yesterday I was watching regular, old-fashioned network television. The Patriots were on CBS, not CSNDC. Their game was actually available on every TV set in America. By the end of overtime yesterday, I was choked up with elation. I got the same feeling this morning as I read about last night's pep rally at the Patriot Center.

When I went to George Mason, the university was just beginning its efforts to lose the "commuter school" image. They've been building dormitories left and right since I was there but I think they still have many more commuters than resident students. The other day a GMU recruiter asked me to use this blog to point out something in a Washington Post article that would help counter the commuter school reputation. Of course, whatever I write here will be overshadowed by the many newspaper articles that refer to all five starters on the basketball team being raised within a 90-minute drive of Mason's Fairfax campus.

I've talked with some people who feel that George Mason's basketball team came out of nowhere to upset Connecticut (and Wichita State and North Carolina and Michigan State). Believe it or not, GMU's basketball program is not an overnight success nor a Johnny-come-lately. The university made a major commitment to the sport over twenty years ago when they built the Patriot Center. I read a post by a blogger who properly gives some credit to George Johnson, who was GMU president at the time. Johnson promised my graduating class that our commencement ceremony would be held in the brand new Patriot Center even if we had to wear hard hats. He kept his promise and wore a hard hat during his address to our class.

Last week I was impressed by all the national media attention my old school received. I posted links to several of the stories. Obviously there's a plethora of great "Cinderella men" stories in today's papers. (And some good audio on WTOP's site.) Instead of trying to link to all the mainstream media stories, I searched the blogosphere to see what else was being written about GMU. Here are some links worthy of a click (feel free to send along some more):

Did you hear that of over three million brackets that were filled out on, only four correctly picked the Final Four? I'm surprised there were that many. Who are these four psychics?

Because I've been so demonstrative in my excitement over George Mason, KROQ's Kevin & Bean are going to talk to me on their show Thursday morning around 7:05 a.m. PT.

My source on the inside sent me some photos that were taken during yesterday's viewing party in the Johnson Center:

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