My flashback to
Sweet Georgia Mason

Mar 28, 2006 7:17 AM

And then there were four!

This has to go down as one of the most evenly matched tournaments I have ever seen. For sure, the most exciting with almost every game coming down to the wire.

As everyone stood around in shock after the big George Mason victory, I really wasn’t that surprised after more thought. I was a bit surprised Mason was able to come back after falling behind at halftime, but really mad at myself for not seeing things clearer earlier.

It all started when a very average Syracuse team won the Big East tournament, while beating Connecticut. The Huskies then struggled against Albany and Kentucky and were very fortunate to beat Washington. Villanova was very lucky to get past Arizona, so just maybe these guys weren’t as good as advertised. Maybe they were just good in their own conference.

All I know is the 11 seed George Mason played like a 1 and richly deserve to be in the Final Four and it will take a top Florida effort to beat these guys.

Watching the Mason-UConn game, reminded me of a funny thing that happened years ago. I was working at the Stardust and lines were changing faster than Indy cars. It was Saturday and I needed a little help announcing line changes so I brought out Yolanda Acuna, manager of the back of the book, to announce the changes on the loud speaker.

One change happened to be involving George Mason, except she called out "Georgia Mason." I just looked at her and couldn’t stop laughing. I guess she was just giving it a little female touch.

Let’s take a little look at the Final Four, which starts Saturday at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis and concludes with Monday night’s championship game.

SEMIFINALS

GMU +5 vs. Fla (132): These two teams are both playing top-notch basketball. I think the underdog Patriots could be just overjoyed to be here and may get caught up in the surroundings. Florida, the No. 3 seed, has been confident throughout the tourney and will not take Mason for granted. I trust the Gators so much, I’ll make a good bet on the under priced money line. FLORIDA.

LSU -2 vs. UCLA (121): I have liked the Bruins from day one and gave them a shot getting here. LSU is big and powerful. This game looks to be low scoring and down to the wire. The line actually opened "pick" and should close that way at tipoff. So getting a bucket here looks good to me. If able to get +2½, I will make this a major wager. UCLA +2

NATIONAL FINAL

Florida -2 over UCLA/LSU: I will stay with the Gators and lay the points. If it comes -3 or higher, I most likely pass.

UCLA/LSU -3 over GMU: If Mason gets this far, nobody stops them.

LOOKING AHEAD

”¡ Baseball is on the horizon and that will mean 2 For Tuesday will be concentrating on the Boys of Summer. Last year we were very successful, so stay tuned for some good parlay action supplied by Mark Mayer and myself.

”¡ I saw a real good "printers tip" this past Saturday at Santa Anita. Printers tip is when you get a scratch sheet and they have a horse’s name misspelled. Well Danthebluegrassman was listed Danthegluegrassman. If you are a horseplayer, that’s funny in itself. Needless to say Dan the Man romped home the winner. I don’t know if this was purposely done, but I will keep my eye open for another Georgia Mason!

Last week: 4-3-1

Postseason: 10-6-2