Even though George Mason has averaged 20 wins the past four seasons and is back in NCAA tournament contention again this year, the Patriots are still known for little else besides their remarkable Final Four appearance five years ago.
The lack of respect is surely a source of frustration, so credit George Mason for having such a good sense of humor about it.
George Mason's athletic department released a video on Tuesday poking fun at the basketball program's national anonymity in spite of its successful track record.
"Did you see the game this weekend. Big win for the Green and Gold," a George Mason fan asks his less hoops savvy friend, setting up an obvious punchline about the Green Bay Packers winning the Super Bowl. The conversation evolves from there, taking jabs at casual fans and AP Top 25 voters who both have been slow to recognize how good this year's team is.
If ever a George Mason team deserved more recognition, it's this year's under-publicized group that won 78-63 at UNC Wilmington on Tuesday night to extend its win streak to 10 in a row.
At 20-5 overall and 12-2 in Colonial Athletic Association play, the Patriots are in first place in their league and in good position to make the NCAA tournament. Nonleague losses to NC State and Wofford are blemishes on the resume, but victories over Harvard, Duquesne and Old Dominion have helped boost George Mason's RPI into the 20s.
In a season in which a soft bubble could enable the CAA to send multiple teams to the NCAA tournament for only the fourth time in history, George Mason appears to have as good a chance as any conference school to earn an at-large bid.
Only two non-BCS teams have a higher RPI than George Mason: BYU and San Diego State. The balanced Patriots may not be in either of their class this season, but they may join them in the NCAA tournament this March anyway.
(Thanks, DC Sports Bog)