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Posted at 12:56 PM ET, 01/21/2011

George Mason-James Madison: The whole world will be watching

By Dan Steinberg

Jim Larranaga is ready. (By John McDonnell - TWP)

George Mason heads to James Madison Saturday morning for one of the most important editions of this longstanding rivalry in recent memory. Five nuggets to help get you ready.

1) The game is being broadcast on ESPNU at 11 a.m. That's pretty early for college kids. "I wonder why this game tomorrow is so early, I usually don't wake up until 11," JMU's Denzel Bowles wrote on Twitter.

And yet, what are the practical implications? They're not good for Mason, anyhow.

"With the early tip, there will be a free breakfast available for all JMU students at Entrance E," the school's release on the game reveals. Free breakfast? Better strap up, Mason, 'cuz you're going to be facing a full house.

2) This will be JMU's first home game on an ESPN network since 1994-95. That has the players understandably worked up.

"It's gonna be packed in here," junior forward Rayshawn Goins told The Breeze. "Everybody around the world is watching so it's gonna be big."

Well, most people around the world, anyhow.

3) Did you know James Madison got four votes in the latest AP poll? The Breeze also reported that this was the first time the Dukes have gotten national poll votes since the 1991-92 season, when they were led by Lefty Driesell.

"It's just good for the program that we got votes," Bowles told the paper. "They haven't had that in a long time and we're just trying to bring a winning tradition back to JMU."

So, who provided these four votes? Well, it was actually only two men, both of whom listed JMU at No. 24 on their ballots. That would be perpetual CAA lover John Feinstein, and Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star sports editor Steve DeShazo. So this hasn't quite reached the levels of a national phenomenon. Close, but not quite.

4) Did you know that Mason has beaten JMU 14 of the last 16 times they've played? And yet, that the Dukes still have an all-time record of 49-39 against the Patriots? That means until recently, the Dukes had an all-time record of 47-25 against Mason. It's like I don't even know these schools at all.

5) Ah yes, Humpty Hitchens. Where did the nickname come from? Let's go back to the Akron Beacon Journal in 2008, when Humpty was a young freshman:

First things first with University of Akron freshman Anthony Hitchens. Ladies and gentlemen of the Akron area, introducing how "Humpty" got his nickname.

"It came from an '80s song. When I was young, every time it came on, I would dance and just be happy no matter what kind of mood I was in," said Hitchens, a 5-foot-9 point guard from Chillicothe. "Everybody started calling me 'Humpty.' "

That's because the official name of the song is The Humpty Dance, by Digital Underground, an alternative rap group from Oakland, Calif. The song often is called Do the Humpty Hump because that is the primary lyric.

"My teachers call me 'Humpty,' I get mail like that. I go by that and like it because I don't really like the name Anthony," Hitchens said.

Peace and Humptiness forever.

By Dan Steinberg  | January 21, 2011; 12:56 PM ET
Categories:  College Basketball  
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If it takes all year, my humpty pith will make it into the paper! Might have to branch out into DooWhatchalike jokes though.


Posted by: mgv4232 | January 21, 2011 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Woah. An article about JMU in the Post?? Hell hath frozen over!

Posted by: jwb9 | January 21, 2011 1:33 PM | Report abuse

I cant believe JMU is getting some love, but good lord 11am?? c'mon man!

Posted by: rc2223 | January 21, 2011 1:33 PM | Report abuse

I enjoyed the clincal description of the works of Digital Underground.

I do not enjoy Feinstein's cheapening of the sacred duties of voiting in AP Top 25 polls. You'd think he has some sort of, oh I dunno, bias?

Posted by: M__N | January 21, 2011 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Yeah I'm shocked too that the Post doesn't cover a college team that is 2 hours away from DC. I fully expect the post to write a detailed piece on every school within a 130 mile radius of the capital.

Go Mason! Bukkake JMU!

Posted by: NateMinarik | January 21, 2011 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Well as long as he didn't get the nickname Humpty because he once got busy in a Buger King bathroom...

Posted by: CapsNut | January 21, 2011 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Finally some respect for JMU from the Post. My dream is a JMU blog right along side those other schools in the sports section. Who knows? JMU has big plans for the future!

Posted by: JRD8608 | January 21, 2011 2:49 PM | Report abuse

It's not just sports. A recent article in Metro compared the on-campus smoking policies of "local" schools. In addition to the truly DC area schools, they had Towson and Hopkins (Baltimore), St. Marys, UVA, William and Mary and, of course, Virginia Tech.

I kinda get it when the Post considers VT as "local" for purposes of Sports, since so many alumni live here. But to exclude JMU from that most of the time (when there are significant alumni in the DC area as well) and from this article as well is ridiculous.

Note: I suppose there is either no policy or the school didn't respond, but it's not too hard to indicate that somewhere.

Posted by: kmg27 | January 21, 2011 3:31 PM | Report abuse

As a Proud Patriot by education yet bleeding purple after three JMU grads in 10 years (and still driving to the Valley) this one is tough! Like others, I am glad the Post is even writing about JMU. Mason has had it's Final Four....

Go Dukes!

Posted by: grandfam | January 21, 2011 4:13 PM | Report abuse

He likes his oatmeal lumpy and watch out George Mason - he's about to bump thee.

Posted by: Hoops44 | January 21, 2011 5:26 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: rachel216 | January 21, 2011 10:56 PM | Report abuse

I gots to find me a Burger King bathroom stall.


Posted by: WaPoPimp | January 22, 2011 12:08 PM | Report abuse

The whole world saw Mason seniors go 13-14 from the field and 6-6 from three. Cam Long & Ike Tate went off.

Posted by: deepvalue | January 22, 2011 2:04 PM | Report abuse

"Yeah I'm shocked too that the Post doesn't cover a college team that is 2 hours away from DC. I fully expect the post to write a detailed piece on every school within a 130 mile radius of the capital."

Nothing was more pathetic than the Washington Post Va Tech/ JMU football writeup, writing from the perspective that Va Tech was the home team and JMU was some random visiting team. I emailed the article author and he bluntly admitted that as the Va Tech beat reporter, that was the perspective he was writing from. Mind you, Va Tech is farther away from DC than JMU.

JMU is in the Post delivery area. They have tables everywhere to sign up post subscribers. They have newspaper boxes for point of sale purchases. If the Post is going to sell newspapers there, they should provide some remote semblance of news coverage.

Posted by: niceshoes1 | January 24, 2011 3:35 PM | Report abuse

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