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George Mason Going Back To The Big Dance

by @ 9:03 am on March 11, 2008. Filed under College Sports, George Mason Patriots, Sports

After a one-year absence, the George Mason Patriots won the CAA Championship last night to secure a berth in this year’s NCAA Tournament:

RICHMOND, March 10 — As the final seconds ticked away Monday night at Richmond Coliseum, the George Mason Patriots and their swarming green-and-gold clad fans celebrated a second trip to the NCAA tournament in three years. But what will make the Patriots’ return to the national stage different is the manner in which they will arrive.

No anxious waits, no persuasive arguments for an at-large berth.

The Patriots sealed their first automatic bid in seven years with a 68-59 victory over upset-minded William & Mary, completing three days of astounding defense and timely offense to claim the Colonial Athletic Association tournament title.

“To be a part of this and go to the NCAA tournament and not have to worry about, ‘Are we going to get an at-large bid?’ — just sitting at the TV on Selection Sunday and knowing our name is going to be picked is a great feeling,” said senior guard Folarin Campbell, who was named the tournament’s most valuable player after tallying 20 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists against the Tribe.

The triumph by the third-seeded Patriots (23-10) marked only the fifth time in the league’s 26 years that one of the top two seeds did not win the championship. Mason had lost in the 2004 and ’07 finals, and an at-large berth two years ago preceded its historic run to the Final Four.

Go Patriots !

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