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Posted at 1:37 PM ET, 02/14/2011

Who's voting for George Mason?

By Dan Steinberg

As George Mason won its 10th and then 11th games in a row last week, some fans and media members began to wonder whether the Patriots might crack the AP top 25 this week.

Now, this is the sort of thing that matters very little to a power-conference school like Maryland, but it's kind of a big deal in Fairfax. It's the kind of thing you put in media guides, and brag about to recruits, and use to get local TV and newspaper coverage.

On Monday, the AP results came out, and we learned that no, the Patriots have not yet done enough. They have more votes than last week (28 instead of 19), and have moved from 32nd in the country to 30th, but it'll take a couple more wins, at least.

Now, I have no earthly idea whether a 21-5 George Mason team is more deserving of votes than, say, an 18-7 UCLA team. Nor, I suspect, do many voters. Because when you actually look at the ballots, it turns out that Mason got more than half its 28 votes from exactly four men, all of whom work in the D.C. or Virginia market.

Of the 64 sportswriters and broadcasters who vote in the AP poll, only 10 included Mason on their ballots. And Mason got a total of three votes from west of the Mississippi: two from a writer in Missouri, and one from a writer in Texas.

Meanwhile, John Feinstein and Fredericksburg's Steve DeShazo both ranked Mason 22nd in the country, while Roanoke's Mark Berman had the Patriots 21st and the Examiner's Kevin Dunleavy slotted them 23rd. Those were four of the five highest national rankings given to Mason.

I still consider the AP poll the next best thing to Gospel, but something tells me it might not be a perfectly objective look at college basketball excellence.

By Dan Steinberg  | February 14, 2011; 1:37 PM ET
Categories:  College Basketball, George Mason  
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I think we will land on the top 25 if we come out of Richmond and Northern Iowa with two wins.

Posted by: agalcius | February 14, 2011 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Rankings are great but I want a ticket to the Dance and several wins.

Posted by: WaPoPimp | February 14, 2011 4:14 PM | Report abuse

What teams has Mason beat to justify being ranked? Their best win is against ODU. A team that they beat at home and lost to on the road.

The next best team they beat by RPI is Harvard...

Posted by: chisox2 | February 14, 2011 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Mason beat Duquesne in Pittsburgh. That must count for something.

Besides, the NCAA tourney is not about the 68 best teams in the country, IMO. It's about teams that deserve to be there by excelling in their conference and against their schedule. When you look objectively, the 5th team from a BCS conference has about the same chance of winning it all as a mid major at-large.

Posted by: SonicBlues | February 14, 2011 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Isn't a big deal if you are Maryland? Haha they wish they had some votes. BC beat MD, Harvard beat BC, Mason beat Harvard.

Posted by: bj7499 | February 14, 2011 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Duquesne has an RPI of 82 and only has one victory over a top 50 RPI team.

Mason has 3 wins in the CAA (Drexel and JMU-twice) that are better than Duquesne.

Posted by: chisox2 | February 14, 2011 8:05 PM | Report abuse

I forgot to mention, I am not saying GMU should not be in the tourney, because they should. I am just saying the top 25 is a stretch.

Posted by: chisox2 | February 14, 2011 8:23 PM | Report abuse

GMU has been winning on the road & at home by double digit figures. They should have made the top 25 already, but ok top 30 is fine for now. If they beat either VCU or N.IA they should move up to the top 25. I hope they beat both. It's also some BS that the CAA tourney is in Richmond EVERY YR! Can we start a petition or an Egyptian style revolution to stop this? Why is it always there? Fairfax is a much nicer place to stay.

Posted by: LadeM | February 15, 2011 10:04 AM | Report abuse

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