Tuesday, March 22, 2016

GW beats Monmouth and their bench, moves on to NIT quarterfinals tomorrow vs. Florida

It's been a good week for GW: coach Mike Lonergan took his name out of the running for the Rutgers job and the Colonials beat #1 seed Monmouth 87-71. The game, at Monmouth, resulted in GW's first ever trip to the NIT quarterfinals, and the team next plays Florida at the Smith Center at 7 pm tomorrow, March 23. The game will also be on ESPN2.

The Hatchet has a nice recap, focusing on Yuta Watanabe's defensive performance, where he shut down Metro Atlantic conference player of the year Justin Robinson, who scored only 6 on 2/16 shooting.

Tyler Cavanaugh did what he does, scoring 22 with 12 boards, while Patricio Garino and Kevin Larsen had 19 points each. GW shot 51.9% from the floor and were 9/19 from three and 22/31 from the line. The only drawback I can see is that the good guys has 16 turnovers while the bench only scored 11 -- 5 from Alex Mitola and 6 from Yuta Watanabe. Here's the full box score.

As for GW's next opponent, the Gators are 21-14 and were 9-9 in the SEC this year. They beat North Florida and Ohio State so far in the NIT, and in the regular season beat West Virginia and lost to Michigan State and twice to Kentucky. They didn't have any terrible non-conference losses

GWHoopsters say the box office thinks the game might sell out. Season ticket holders can buy seats where the currently sit (or elsewhere.)

Here's how to get your tickets if you're a current season ticket holder (or just call the box office)
Step 1: Visit GetGWTix.com and click on My AccountStep 2: Log into your account
Step 3: At the top of your account profile page, click Offers (Some accounts will have more than one offer)
Step 4: Select Add to Order and purchase your tickets

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Video of Alex Mitola's NIT game winner over Hofstra: awesome

Just spotted this on GWHoops: great. So glad Mitola is on the team this year (and really, happy to have this team as a whole.)

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The A-10 Tourney is upon us: GW faces winner of Mason and SLU

It's that time again, the A-10 tourney in Brooklyn. GW earned the #5 seed and plays Thursday at 2:30 pm against the winner of #12 George Mason vs #13 Saint Louis, which is today at 6:30 pm.

Tickets are on sale at GW, and if you can, you should go -- the tournament is a lot of fun. There's also a pre-game reception for GW fans and the conference is doing a bunch of contests and giveaways.

The good guys basically need to win the A-10 tournament the make the NCAAs, with an outside shot at getting an at large bid if they make the finals. Bracketologists mostly put GW as one of the first or next four out teams right now. The Hatchet has a good preview of what needs to happen as well.

After the GMU/SLU game, GW would have to face St. Joe's, then the winner of Dayton of Richmond/Fordham to get to the conference title matchup. Not insurmountable, but a lot of basketball in four days. The full bracket is here.

Here's the weekly update from the A-10, with the full A-10 tourney matchups, national picture, bracketology and more.  The conference does note that 80% of teams who finished in the top 5 in the A-10 regular season made the NCAAs, but we shall see.

Championship Week is Here!
With the exciting conclusion of the A-10 regular season and Dayton, VCU and St. Bonaventure sharing the regular season title, the Atlantic 10 Championship is upon us!
The Championship takes place this week in Brooklyn, starting Wednesday afternoon and concluding Sunday with the championship game at 12:30p.m. ET.
Here's included the full bracket for Championship Week, which can also be found online here.
First Round - Wednesday, March 9
Game 1: #12 George Mason vs. #13 Saint Louis
6:30 PM

Game 2: #11 Duquesne vs. #14 La Salle
9:00 PM

Second Round - Thursday, March 10
Game 3: #8 Fordham vs. #9 Richmond
12:00 PM

Game 4: #5 George Washington vs. Winner Game 1
2:30 PM

Game 5: #7 Rhode Island vs. #10 Massachusetts
6:30 PM

Game 6: #6 Davidson vs. Winner Game 2
9:00 PM

Quarterfinals - Friday, March 11
Game 7: #1 Dayton vs. Winner Game 3
12:00 PM

Game 8: #4 Saint Joseph's vs. Winner Game 4
2:30 PM

Game 9: #2 VCU vs. Winner Game 5
6:30 PM

Game 10: #3 St. Bonaventure vs. Winner Game 6
9:00 PM

Semifinals - Saturday, March 12
Game 11: Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8
1:30 PM

Game 12: Winner Game 9 vs. Winner Game 10
4:00 PM

Finals - Sunday, March 13
Game 13: Winner Game 11 vs. Winner Game 12
12:30 PM
*all games are in ET
A full list of all activities taking place during Championship Week is also available here

National Picture Updates
5 Days Until Selection Sunday
In the latest AP Top 25 and USA Today Coaches Poll, Dayton and St. Bonaventure are receiving votes. Saint Joseph’s is also receiving votes in the Coaches Poll.
The most recent RPI rankings have six A-10 teams in the top 65: Dayton (21), St. Bonaventure (27), Saint Joseph’s (34), VCU (40), GW (62) and Davidson (63). This is tied with the Big Ten (6 teams) and more than the SEC (5 teams) and Big East (5 teams).
Jerry Palm’s latest bracket prediction has Dayton (6 seed), St. Bonaventure (8 seed), Saint Joseph’s (9 seed) and VCU (10 seed) making the tournament. GW is listed as a ‘probably out’ team in his bubble watch.
ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has four A-10 teams in his most recent bracketology update. Dayton is a seven seed, Saint Joseph’s a 10 seed, VCU a 10 seed and St. Bonaventure as a last four in team. GW sits just outside as a next four out team.
USA Today’s bracket prediction has Dayton as a seven seed, St. Bonaventure as an 10 seed, Saint Joseph’s as a 10 seed and VCU as a first four out team. GW is listed as still in contention for an at-large bid.

The Atlantic 10 Regular Season Matters

A-10 Pulse
  • CBS Sports named St. Bonaventure’s Marcus Posley as national Player of the Week after he put up 47 points against Saint Joseph’s. Matt Norlander writes, 
  • Honestly, considering the circumstances surrounding the importance of the Saint Joe's game, I think Posley's performance is one of the most impressive in the past five years in college basketball.” LINK
  • John Feinstein at the Washington Post said the A-10 “may be the most underrated conference in the country” and should get at least four bids in the NCAA tournament. LINK
  • SB Nation wrote a piece that calls out the year-over-year success of the Atlantic 10, with St. Bonaventure being the latest example of conference success. LINK
  • Sporting News wrote about Will Wade’s success at VCU in a post-Shaka Smart era. LINK
  • ESPN’s Andy Katz had Bonnies’ Coach Mark Schmidt on his show to talk about the team’s recent success and the upcoming A-10 Championship as one of the eight major tournaments this weekend. LINK
  • The Daily Press did a feature on the promising future of the A-10 as the conference turns 40 years old this season. LINK
  • St. Joseph’s junior forward DeAndre’ Bembry was named A-10 MBB Player of the Year and St. Bonaventure head coach Mark Schmidt was voted A-10 Coach of the Year. LINK 
  • St. Bonaventure senior Marcus Posley and Dayton junior Scoochie Smith share Atlantic 10 Player of the Week honors. Posley had the best scoring game in DI this year, with 47 points in a win over Saint Joseph’s and 18 points at Saint Louis to help give the Bonnies their first-ever A-10 regular season title. Smith led the Flyers to two wins, a piece of the A-10 regular season championship and the top seed in the A-10 tournament with back-to-back career-high performances. LINK

Social Buzz
@MattNorlander says Bonnies should be a lock for a NCAA bid after win over Saint Joseph’s Wednesday
@SethDavisHoops took note of St. Bonaventure’s Posley, who had 47 points last Wednesday.
@TBNbucky thinks St. Bonaventure should be in the tournament no matter what happens in Brooklyn, noting at least three A-10 teams have been in the tournament in the last nine years.
@JonRothstein, among others, noted the buzz that surrounded the VCU @ Dayton game.

Friday, March 4, 2016

10 years ago today, GW finished undefeated in the A-10 on Carl Elliott's overtime buzzer beater against Charlotte

 Oh man. Ten years ago today, GW finished one of their greatest regular seasons ever, going 26-1 and 16-0 in the Atlantic 10. The team got as high as #6 in the national polls and made the second round of the NCAA tournament after an 18-point comeback win over UNC-Wilmington, only to be stopped by Duke.

It was an epic, exciting and awesome season, marred only by a rough seeding by the NCAA selection committee: GW actually received a lower seed than their AP poll number, getting the 8 seed in Greensboro, NC against two North Carolina teams. One of whom was Duke. Who got all the calls, as you might expect. I didn't understand the hate against Duke until that game.

But that suckiness aside, it was a great season, and a great game. In an intense, back and forth battle, the good guys went to overtime against a then-strong Charlotte 49ers team. The game got chippy too, with referees going to the video to assess a foul on GW's Mike Hall and a technical on Charlotte's Leemire Goldwire for at attempted elbow (if only that had been assessed against VCU a few games ago, huh?)

GW won the game on a tip-in from Carl Elliott after Noel Wilmore's errant three. The fans went nuts and stormed the court, and the team danced on the scorers'  tables surrounded by adoring fans.

It was a great moment and a great team: high energy monster leaper Pops Mensah-Bonsu, steady, consistent and fiery Mike Hall, do everything forward Omar Williams, all around scorer JR Pinnock, blindingly fast Regis Koundjia, tough point guard Carl Elliott, big time scorer Maureece Rice, shooter Noel Wilmore, steady backup Alex "Ukraine Train" Kireev, and promising freshmen Rob Diggs and Montrell McDonald.

It was an epic team. (I actually made not one but two t-shirts of that team: the starters and the backups.)

Here's more from the AP, Washington Post (by Dan Steinberg!), and the Hatchet (by Jake Sherman!)

Thanks to GW alum Mike Herczfeld for pointing out it was the anniversary.

Here's lots of awesome videos.

 From ESPN:

 Maureece Rice tying it to go to overtime:

 And a charmingly goofy recap video from the season.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Around the A-10: Bracketology, big games, cool stories for the week of March 1

Here's this week's update from the A-10: lots going on after GW's big win over George Mason yesterday. The Colonials are now 22-8.

Week Ahead Top Games

Below are the top games around the league this week. A full schedule is always available on Atlantic10.com and can be found here.

· After losing to a tough Rhode Island team last Saturday, Dayton edged Richmond Tuesday in Richmond, 85-84.

· George Washington beat George Mason 74-52 as part of the Revolutionary Rivalry on Tuesday.

· Coming off a big win against GW Saturday, VCU, tied for first place in the A-10, will host Davidson WEDNESDAY night. The Rams beat the Wildcats 79-69 back on Jan. 29. (7p.m.ET, CBS Sports Network)

· Also on WEDNESDAY night Saint Joseph’s will travel to take on St. Bonaventure at Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, N.Y. The Bonnies have won their last three games and will be looking to top the Hawks, who sit tied with VCU on top of the conference standings. St. Bonaventure won the first game, which was played in Philadelphia. (7p.m.ET, Live on Atlantic10.com)

· Two of the conference’s top teams face off SATURDAY night as Dayton hosts VCU. Both Dayton and VCU will be looking to move up in conference standings and add another quality win to their already impressive NCAA Tournament resumes. (8p.m.ET, CBS Sports Network).

National Picture Updates
11 Days Until Selection Sunday

Saint Joseph’s and Dayton are receiving votes in both the AP Top 25 and USA Today Coaches Poll. St. Bonaventure is also receiving votes in the Coaches Poll.

Four A-10 teams are in the top 50 of the latest RPI rankings and six are in the top 70: Dayton (25), Saint Joseph’s (26), St. Bonaventure (35), VCU (46), George Washington (61) and Davidson (66).

In Jerry Palm’s most recent bracket predictions, three A-10 teams are in. Dayton is a six seed, Saint Joseph’s is an eight seed and St. Bonaventure is a last four in team. VCU and George Washington sit just outside as first four out teams.

Joe Lunardi’s latest bracketology update has Dayton as a seven seed, Saint Joseph’s at an eight seed and VCU a 10 seed. St. Bonaventure is a first four out team and GW is a next out team.

USA Today has Dayton and Saint Joseph’s both as eight seeds in its latest bracket projections. St. Bonaventure and VCU are first four out teams and GW is considered for at-large bids.

Atlantic 10 History in the Big Dance

This season’s top A-10 teams are battling it out to be regular season champions because they know the regular season matters when it comes to post season play.

In the past five years…

• 100% of A-10 teams who win the conference regular season, go on to the NCAA Tournament (5 of 5)
• 100% of A-10 teams who finish in the top 2 of the conference regular season, have made the NCAA Tournament (10 of 10)
• 93% of A-10 teams who finish in the top 3 of the conference regular season, have made the NCAA Tournament (14 of 15)
• 90% of A-10 teams who finish in the top 4 of the conference regular season, have made the NCAA Tournament (18 of 20)

A-10 Pulse

USA Today’s Anna Katherine Clemmons wrote a feature story on Davidson’s Jack Gibbs, drawing comparisons between Gibbs and Stephen Curry’s time as a Wildcat. LINK

Philadelphia Tribune reporter Donald Hunt wrote a story on URI alumni Cuttino Mobley being honored as an Atlantic 10 Legend. LINK

Richmond Times-Dispatch reporter Time Pearrell wrote about VCU having the opportunity to recover from its loss to Richmond last week with several big games on the schedule to end conference play. LINK

An article in the Washington Post by David Driver talks to players on George Mason’s ’05-’06 team, reflecting on its run to the Final Four a decade ago. LINK

Saint Joseph’s DeAndre’ Bembry earned Atlantic 10 Player of the Week honors Monday. The forward scored 10 points against UMass and 27 points against St. Louis to lead the Hawks to a 2-0 week and a tie for the top spot in the conference. LINK

Social Buzz

@ESPNLunardi tweeted St. Bonaventure has “a good shot” at an at-large bid.

@JonRothstein predicts a tournament bid for Saint Joseph’s following the Hawks’ win over Saint Louis.

Design the 2016 GW season t-shirt and win $500!

This is pretty cool: the university is hosting their third annual season t-shirt design contest, and you can enter. Designs are due March 11, and the winner will get a $500 gift card -- not too shabby.

Here's more info from the entry form site.

Last year's shirt was pretty cool.
2016 Season T-shirt Contest
GW Needs YOUR Help in Designing the 2016 Season T-Shirt!
Open to the GW Community*
Winner receives a $500 Gift Card to the GW Campus Stores and a free t-shirt with your winning design, which will be selected as the GW 2016 Season T-shirt!
Dates and Deadlines:
Monday, February 15: Contest Begins
Friday, March 11 @ 5pm: Contest Closes
Monday, March 28: Contest winner will be notified
Thursday, June 9: GW 2016 Season T-shirts will go on sale
*You must be a current GW student, faculty or staff member.
Design Criteria:
Must include the GW Athletics logo
Must include the text: "Raise High!" or "#RaiseHigh"
Limited to FOUR colors
Front and back design locations
Shirt color must be BUFF, BLUE or WHITE
Please submit both PDF and EPS files
For questions, email LTP@GWU.edu.
(I should also note I sell t-shirts of great previous GW lineups -- 1992-93, 1997-98 and 2005-06, plus a new one, the 05-06 backups.)

And a view of last year and 2014's shirt to get you in the t-shirt design spirit:

You can get college basketball tickets here.