March 27, 2006

George Mason University's Cinderella Story



John Smallwood of the Mercury News writes the "Cinderella" title has got to go as Mason advances to the Final Four:
Don't be fooled.

Don't look at George Mason University in the Final Four and get duped into seeing Cinderella.

Don't look at the roster of no-name kids who couldn't get scholarships to any major program and see 14 pairs of glass slippers.

George Mason is not Cinderella.

Cinderella would not - make that could not - have done what the Patriots just did.

Cinderella might always show up in the NCAA Tournament, but she does not go to the Final Four. That exclusive arena is reserved for truly elite teams.

Tim Sullivan of SingOnSandDiego.com writes about Mason's shock and awe campaign:

Obscure George Mason won a regional championship game yesterday against overwhelming Connecticut 86-84, was forced into overtime to finish it and earned every single snippet of nylon in its hands, its hats and around its necks.

From afar, it was astonishing. An upset for the ages. People who have watched college basketball for decades kept searching for parallels and kept coming back to a hockey game played in 1980.

Pat Forde at ESPN.com writes that we're in a whole new ball game thanks to Mason:

Now that everyone's bracket has been folded, spindled and Masonically mutilated, it's time for a moment of reckoning. After two of the most stunning, suspenseful and spellbinding weeks in the history of the sport, this is what we have learned:

Everything we believed to be true about this college basketball season has been rendered false.

Up is down. Down is up. The earth is flat. The sun rises in the west. The smartest Patriots coach is not Bill Belichick, it's Jim Larranaga. And America's team is George Mason.

The Boston Globe's Mark Blaudschun writes jokes about Mason's Cinderella Men:

This time, there was no last-second miracle. This time, there was no comeback to savor.

This time, in the high-intensity forum of the NCAA Tournament, David slew Goliath.

Playing the role of David, Cinderella, and anything else you want to call them was No. 11-seeded George Mason, which knocked off No. 1 seed Connecticut, 86-84, in overtime in yesterday's Washington Regional final, much to the delight of the majority of the sellout crowd of 19,718 fans at the Verizon Center.

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