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29.11.14 0351
The W - Basketball - Greatest Upset Ever?
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BigSteve
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Since: 23.7.04
From: Baltimore, MD

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.85
So somehow George Mason beat UConn in a great overtime game to get to the Final Four. I watched the game, but I still can't fathom that *George Mason* beat Michigan State, UNC, and UConn and now has a legitimate shot to win the national championship.

I've got to think this might be the greatest sports upset of all time. I'm too young to remember a lot of the things that tradionally get talked about as great upsets (Nova in '85, Valvano's NC State team, Namath and the Jets in '69) but I can't imagine anything as improbable as this run by George Mason. Am I way off on this one or was this the biggest (series of) upset(s) ever?



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Since: 6.1.02
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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.06
Like you I wasn't watching basketball in 1985 to have seen Villanova's upset but from everything I hear it is touted as the biggest upset in tournament history. I never really understood it because Georgetown was only a 10 point favorite which doesn't seem like THAT big an upset. Surely George Mason was a bigger underdog against UConn than 10 points, right?

Anyway, it was definitely the biggest upset I have personally seen and maybe the second best game I've seen after the Duke/Kentucky game in '92. Actually this game was very reminiscent of that game because just like in the Duke/Kentukcy game they just went back and forth and back and forth and it seemed like nobody could miss. It just didn't have the amazing buzzer beater that Duke had that game.

I have to admit, when UConn tied it at the end of regulation I thought it was over. George Mason teased the upset but UConn just wasn't going to let them do it. But to their credit not only did they not falter after regulation but they actually controlled the whole overtime. I realize you can argue that George Mason is more dangerous than UConn right now because they BEAT UConn head to head, but i'm defintiely glad my Gators are playing George Mason next instead of UConn. Here's hoping for a all SEC finals after the SEC was hardly talked about all season other than how disappointing a season Kentucky had.



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DrewDewce
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Since: 2.1.02
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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.90
I would put '85 Villanova and '83 NC State as bigger upsets (that I've seen), but that's mainly because they were going up against '85 Patrick Ewing and '83 (H)Akeen Olajuwon, respectively, who were forces of nature and unlike anybody else seen before, but seen quite a bit since. If you had the biggest guy back then, you usually won (Just ask John Wooden). Different time.

I think we would have started seeing more "George Mason's" if the NBA didn't require kids to be at least 19 before entering the draft (or whatever it is). The playing field will still be leveled somewhat with the LeBron's in the NBA, but not quite as much.



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Since: 24.3.02
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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.12
I think there's a better chance of an underdog team showing up because everyone has to play one year of college. I think a guy putting his token one year of college play is more likely to play at a non-college power, like Dwayne Wade at Marquette, or Carmello Anthony at Syracuse, than he is to play for Duke or UConn.



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Since: 3.1.02
From: Northern NJ

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.87
I think that NC State in '83 then followed by Villanova in '85 were both bigger upsets - I'll never forget watching either one - and they both took place in the FINAL game - to be a truly memorable upset, I feel it has to be in a game that is for all the marbles, not for a trip to the Final 4.

In a side note, heard on ESPNews this morning that out of the more than 3m entries in their Tournament Challenge game, there were only 4 that had predicted the correct final 4 teams - obviously those 4 people know nothing about basketball......



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Deputy Marshall
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Since: 28.6.04
From: Troy, NY

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.11
    Originally posted by dunkndollaz
    In a side note, heard on ESPNews this morning that out of the more than 3m entries in their Tournament Challenge game, there were only 4 that had predicted the correct final 4 teams - obviously those 4 people know nothing about basketball......


Obviously.

In terms of the NCAA Tournament, being only 24-years-old I think that this easily falls into the realm of greatest upset in our generation. Sure, we were alive for '83 and '85, but I'll be damned if anyone can recall them. That wasn't basketballs I was dribbling at that point.

What's weird is that there isn't that excitement factor I would get if this happened in any other sport. For the most part I'm just pissed that I only have one team left in the Final Four, and I had them losing in the Final. Which, considering I have no money on my bracket, is pretty sad.



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Since: 2.1.02
From: Kentucky - Home of the 8 time NCAA Champ Wildcats

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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.26
    Originally posted by Mr. Boffo
    I think there's a better chance of an underdog team showing up because everyone has to play one year of college. I think a guy putting his token one year of college play is more likely to play at a non-college power, like Dwayne Wade at Marquette, or Carmello Anthony at Syracuse, than he is to play for Duke or UConn.


With all due respect, Syracuse is a Big East power and had been in quite a few Final Fours before 'Melo. They're considered a power school in a power conference.

Wade wasn't that heralded coming out of high school. He was probably a "Top 100" recruit, but he ended up being much better than anyone expected. He still played three years at Marquette.

I think that George Mason is one of the biggest upsets in NCAA tourney history and probably the most meaningful. 'Nova over Georgetown would have to be slightly less, IMO, simply because they were from the same conference and you could argue that 'Nova's familiarity with the Hoyas helped them in that game.



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Since: 2.1.02

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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.42
A few thoughts:

If you're talking about straight up impropability, the list of greatest upsets in college basketball history starts and ends with NAIA Chaminade defeating the NCAA's No. 1-ranked team, Virginia, back in 1982 in a game the led to the creation of the Maui Invitational.

Once you get this deep in the tournament, I personally have a hard time considering any win a monumentally huge upset. I mean, UConn at no point carried the unbeatable aura that some teams in the past did, and George Mason had already defeated three very good teams, including two of the past five national champions, so this is more a case of people not wanting to believe in the Patriots than it is George Mason being in over their heads. The teams tournament run collectively is one huge upset, but if last night's result surprised you than you haven't been watching much the past 10 days.

All that said, how can you not feel good for these guys and want to see them win two more games? I missed the game last night, unfortunately, but told people not to tell me the result because I wanted to race home and catch Sportscenter to see and hopefully be surprised. This week, I'm a George Mason fan.
too-old-now
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Since: 7.1.04

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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.82
    Originally posted by Deputy Marshall
    Sure, we were alive for '83 and '85, but I'll be damned if anyone can recall them. That wasn't basketballs I was dribbling at that point.



Hey, now, some of us were following intently back then, and it seemed like the whole world was rooting against John Thompson, Ewing et al. This was an era when it was the exception NOT to stay in school 4 years, whereas now it is the exception TO stay in school. So, fans could identify with the teams more, as there would only be a few changes from year to year. The whole country was familiar with Georgetown as they had been dominant, and they were the defending national champs returning their best player. If I recall correctly, the NBA had announced the draft lottery as a way to make sure the worst teams were not going to tank the rest of their season to get Ewing. Conspiracy theorists still wonder about the secrecy of that draft, and how the Knicks ended up with Patrick, but that's another story.

The reason for the low point spread was that G'Town and many teams those years did not run the ball nearly as much as today's teams. They ran the halfcourt set, feed into Ewing and/or he'd dominate the boards and get offensive rebounds, for plenty of second chance shots.

Memory fades, but I think Nova was the only team that had held G'town to below 50% shooting all year - they had met twice before in the Big East regular season, home and away. Georgetown had been tested by Louis Carnesecca (and his sweater) and the St. John's Redmen (before the PC Red Storm). Nova was an afterthought in the Big East conference (wasn't Syracuse ranked ahead of them that year as well?)

All that being said, congrats to G. Mason as collectively they have had a great, unexpected run so far.

As a UConn fan, I didn't think they deserved to be as highly ranked as they were, and this season's tournament showed their flaws - in the first round they were outplayed for 3 quarters, then it took overtime to advance this far. They have a lot of talent, but they are inconsistent, which is not a way to win a national title.

The buzz around G. Mason will build this week, I hope these players can enjoy it, yet remained focused enough to play as well as they have been.

Chaminade 82 was a lot of fun, but what adds to Nova being the greatest upset is the stage they did it on, the stakes it was played for, a national title game itself.
redsoxnation
Scrapple








Since: 24.7.02

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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.33
I think the overlooked upset is Penn knocking off St. John's and North Carolina in Carolina to get to the Final Four in '79, before being manhandled by Michigan State.
The impressive thing about George Mason is they are the first darkhorse team to make the Final Four since the induction of the shot clock in '86 and the 3 point line in '87 (Providence had knocked off Georgetown earlier in the season, so beating them in the Elite Eight that year can't qualify as a huge shocker, plus they were a 6 seed). NC State and Villanova pulled off the miracle wins in an era where they could pull the ball out and run clock and manage possessions. The shot clock and 3 point line might allow teams to spring upsets, but it has prohibited teams from pulling off 4, let alone 6, in a row.
And, remember when stating Chaminade beat Virginia to add that it was Chaminade beating a Virginia team led by Ralph Sampson, who at that time was considered the next legendary center.
JoshMann
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Since: 17.11.03
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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.99
People also forget how no one gave Duke any hope in hell versus UNLV in 1991 since they had gotten dismantled in the title game by 30 points the year before. Probably because Duke springboarded from powerhouse to super-mega-powerhouse and that early 90s LJ-Augmon-Anthony-Hunt UNLV team that were defending champions and hadn't lost a game all that year has been forgotten due to the program dying out not long after.

Basically what Duke did in that game is follow the game plan of what Pacific did in the Big West tournament by slowing the game down and never let UNLV get into gear with their running game and the result was they kept it close the whole way versus a UNLV team that was used to having games be over 30 minutes before tip-off and thus didn't know what to do in close games down the stretch.





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StingArmy
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Since: 3.5.03
From: Georgia bred, you can tell by my Hawk jersey

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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.29
There was a lot of talk on the big ESPN sports shows today (Cold Pizza, Mike & Mike, Around the Horn, PTI) about ranking upsets. One of those shows mentioned that in '85, in the two regular season meetings between Nova and Georgetown, Georgetown had won by a combined 9 points, with one of the wins coming in overtime. That makes me question just how big of an upset that finals game really was.

On PTI, Wilbon talked about Chaminade-Virginia as being a bigger upset, despite the fact that it was on a much lesser stage. Naturally, T.K. disagreed. It seemed like everyone universally agreed that George Mason was a bigger upset than Jimmy V's NC State team winning the title.

Some people may have reservations about stating George Mason over UConn is the greatest upset of all time, but what about George Mason's tournament run? They've beaten 4 of the past 7 national champions in succession, and none of their wins was some cutesy Cinderella last-second buzzer beater. They won every game fair and square, and in some cases they even DOMINATED their opposition. At the very least, this is the greatest tournament/playoff run in history (in any sport and at any level, if you ask me).

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BigSteve
Pepperoni








Since: 23.7.04
From: Baltimore, MD

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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.85
    Originally posted by StingArmy
    Some people may have reservations about stating George Mason over UConn is the greatest upset of all time, but what about George Mason's tournament run? They've beaten 4 of the past 7 national champions in succession, and none of their wins was some cutesy Cinderella last-second buzzer beater. They won every game fair and square, and in some cases they even DOMINATED their opposition. At the very least, this is the greatest tournament/playoff run in history (in any sport and at any level, if you ask me).



Agreed. When I said best upset ever, I was talking more about the whole tournament run then just the UConn game. UConn is that good, and George Mason clearly proved their worth before Sunday. But it just seems to me that George Mason (or any team of that caliber) going through three great programs like that to get to the Final Four is so improbable.



He's got that hand-waving deal. He can become INVISIBLE! This means MONEY, Dawg! - AWARulz on Cena.
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