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George Mason University Knocks Villanova Out of NCAA Tournament and Hopes to Be This Year's "George Mason"

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Villanova's season came to a crashing end today when George Mason Unversity knocked them out of the first round of the NCAA Tournament 61-57.

'Nova was leading George Mason by 6 points with 3 minutes left and that's when it all fell apart at the seams for Jay Wright's squad. For much of the second half the Wildcats held the lead and were leading 54-48 with 3 minutes to go. And, then Villanova pulled a good ole fashioned Philadelphia choke-job special.

Face it, were you really surprised to see Villanova fold like a cheap tent against George Mason? This is a team that has been abominable for the past month. They started out the season 16-1 and went 5-11 since!  They lost their last 5 games of the regular season before today's loss. Many will blame Jay Wright for Villanova's 16-game collapse, but players have to play. Coaches coach and players play.

Alas, George Mason won their first tournament game since their magical Final Four run back in 2006. Their prize for knocking off 'Nova? They get to face Ohio State on Sunday, who is the #1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament.

It will be a monumental task for George Mason to pull off an upset of the Buckeyes. They feature freshman power forward Jared Sullinger, who is a 6'9" 280 pound beast.

For inspiration, George Mason University has printed up t-shirts which say "They are this year's George Mason." 

Back in 2006, George Mason knocked off North Carolina (a #3 seed) in the second round and UCONN (a #1 seed) in the Elite 8 to reach to the Final Four. George Mason will look to rekindle that magic on Sunday against Ohio State.

Contact Dennis Bakay at dbakay@philly2philly.com

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