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.