George Mason’s wild win over Villanova in the newly has prompted no shortage of NCAA Tournament excitement in 2011’s second-ish round of 64, which leads directly to the Patriots’ inevitable re-christening as a cinderella team and their equally inevitable rejection of that term. Mike Lopresti has a perfectly cromulent summary of the phenomenon, which is at its strangest this year considering GMU was the eight-seed in their close victory over Villanova. The 2006 team is impossible to avoid, even when you’re the top seed in your first game and require a strong second half to pull away with it.
I can understand George Mason’s predicament, and they have my sympathy. But it seems like some teams just never shake the underdog label, no matter how many games they win; Gonzaga might as well change its team nickname to the Gonzaga Underdog-Bandwagons, at this point. So perhaps another few years of solid performance will allow “this year’s George Mason” to shake the label 2006’s George Mason applied so stickily, but it’s tough to get all that glue residue off without digging your fingernails into it.