27-8 overall, 15-3 conference, 1st Colonial
Against the spread
19-10-2 (6-3-1 home, 8-4-1 away)
11-20 (4-6 home, 5-8 away)
2005 Season Summary
George Mason entered the 2005-06 season as a “mid-major” program with no real reputation amongst the college basketball betting masses either as a go with or go against team. As is the case with many mid major programs George Mason simply didn't catch the attention of the public unless they would score an upset over a “name brand” type team. That was all to change in 2005-06 however.
George Mason began the season in neutral court play against California Irvine with a strong 79-56 win and cover as a 7.5-point chalk. This was followed by a pair of back-to-back straight up losses however. The first was a 78-83 defeat at Wake Forest as a 10-point dog for a payoff against the spread, followed by a 52-72 home loss to Creighton as a 3-point chalk. The back-to-back losses did serve to keep a lid on the Patriots and to keep public attention off of them, for the time being anyway.
George Mason next went on a four game road trip starting with a 72-66 win and cover as 1.5-point dogs at Manhattan, which was a great indicator of the Patriots' board value at that time. They next scored an 81-51 win and cover at Georgia State as 5.5-point chalks. After an unlined win at American University the Patriots scored a 53-54 loss/cover at Old Dominion to stand at 4-3 straight up but 5-1 against the spread for a most profitable start.
Calm before the storm
George Mason returned home for three consecutive unlined wins over Radford, Hampton, and Holy Cross. They next went on the road to lose 61-63 at Mississippi State as 4-point chalks. That was followed by a 71-68 win at Northeastern as 3-point chalks for a push. Back home against Virginia Commonwealth the Patriots scored a 73-60 win and cover as 7-point chalks, which was followed by a 70-56 win over Delaware as a 17-pt chalk.
As it turned out this period of the season for George Mason was the calm before the storm with just one cover in their four lined games. The Patriots were yet to catch the public's attention.
As George Mason entered the heart of Colonial Athletic Association Conference play, their emergence as a true contender began, starting with a three game winning streak both straight up and against the spread at William & Mary, at James Madison, and then at home over Northeastern. The streak was halted with a 63-69 loss at NC Wilmington as a 1.5-point dog. But the Patriots got back on track with a four game straight up winning streak, with three covers in those four games as they won at Virginia Commonwealth, won but didn't cover over Towson, won and covered over Drexel and won and covered at Wichita State. The Patriots split their final two regular season games both SU&ATS with a loss at Hofstra and a win at James Madison.
In the CAA tournament the Patriots beat Georgia State 61-56 as 16.5 point overlays in the first round before losing to Hofstra for the second time in three games 49-58 as a 4-point chalk. The quick exit left gamblers clueless as to what was to come.
If ever you wanted a lesson on college basketball value, George Mason's run in the NCAA tournament would be a lesson for the ages.
They opened against Michigan State as a 5-point dog and scored a 75-65 win and cover over the highly regarded Spartans, a perennial NCAA tourney team. Next, against defending national champion North Carolina the Patriots scored a 65-60 upset win and cover as 6-point dogs. George Mason made the “Sweet 16” by beating two of the biggest “name brand” programs i college basketball.
Next was a 63-55 win over Wichita State as 2.5-point dogs. That was followed by an 86-84 shocker over tourney chalk Connecticut as 8-point dogs as Cinderella made it to the Final Four. Against Florida as a 6-point dog, the clock struck midnight for George Mason in a 58-73 loss as 6-point dogs as the gambling public arrived too late, as the surprise and value was gone, demonstrating yet again the perils of reactive gambling.