After losing four of five starters from its 2006 NCAA Tournament final four run, the George Mason University Patriots have rekindled their post season swagger to find themselves back in championship form. The Patriots posted upsets over Hofstra and Old Dominion over the weekend to make it to the championship game against top-seed Virginia Commonwealth University Rams with tip-off at 7 p.m. Monday from the Richmond Coliseum. The game will be televised nationally by ESPN.
VCU is favored in tonight’s game by a -4 ½ point chalk by offshore sportsbook BetUS.com with a 129 ½ points total. The game will be the third meeting between the Rams and Patriots this season with the Rams winning the first two, each by double digits.
In semi-final action, senior guard Jesse Pellot-Rosa fought through a foot injury to score 16 points and lead VCU to the CAA title game for the third time in the past four seasons after posting a 63-56 victory over No. 4 seed Drexel on Sunday. The Rams improved to 26-6 overall, tying a school record for victories in a season. The Rams shot 64% (7 of 11) from behind the arch and 50% overall, while Drexel converted on just 3 of 16 three-point opportunities but still managed to hit 45.8% from the floor.
For the second straight day, the George Mason men's basketball team took a 15-point lead into the half, but instead of watching it shrink away, as they did on Saturday, the Patriots maintained at least a double-digit lead for the entire second half and held off second-seeded Old Dominion in the CAA Tournament semifinals. The sixth-seeded Patriots advance to Monday's title game by virtue of a 79-63 win over the Monarchs, who had a 12-game winning streak snapped.
The last time the Rams and Patriots faced in the CAA Tournament was in 2004 when VCU won in the championship game.