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