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Story contributed by: Mills Kelly
Affiliation with GMU: faculty/staff
Contributed on: 30 March 2006

Story Text

What single moment stands out to you the most from the 2005-06 season?
Watching the final UCONN shot clang off the rim at the end of overtime in the regional finals. I was in the stands and from where I was sitting, the shot was coming right at me. I was sure it was going in and we were going to lose and then, for one nanosecond, I realized it was long. Then it clanged, the buzzer sounded and I started to breathe again.

Tell about your experiences during the Kryptonite Kids' magical run through the tournament:
I'm a faculty member at GMU and for the past several years I've been watching the team with increasing interest as they're play has improved. This year I attended my first game (the win over ODU) and came away with the feeling that this was a very good, albeit small conference, team.

Once the NCAA tourney started, I especially enjoyed the win over Michigan State, because one of my younger cousins is a senior there. You can bet that as soon as the final buzzer sounded I was on the phone to Michigan for a little post-game taunting.

As a UVa graduate (I was an undergrad there when Coach L was an assistant coach), there is no college basketball team I hate more than the University of North Carolina. So, when GMU swatted UNC aside in the second round, there were few Patriots fans happier than I was. To this point, I was pleasantly surprised that the Patriots won their games. Because we'd beaten Wichita State on their home court, I expected a win in the round of 16 and wasn't disappointed.

But who would have expected us to defeat UCONN? Not me. I have to admit that I went to the Verizon Center that night hoping for a respectable game--anything under 10 points would seem like a great run to me. And when UCONN poured it on just before half time, I suspected that my expectations were pretty much on target.

And then it happened. The Patriots came out and swatted UCONN aside just as they had UNC. Of course, they did let those pesky Huskies back into it with no seconds left on the clock, but the overtime proved which was the better TEAM on the floor.

I was so hoarse from screaming my support of the Patriots that I had to whisper my way through my class on Monday. Somehow, my students didn't seem to mind.

What do you think this moment means for George Mason University?
Watching the hoopla here on campus this week brought back memories of what it was like to be a student at UVa when Ralph Sampson put Charlottesville on the national basketball map. It's been great for the university, but most of all, it's been great for our students. This is something they'll remember about their college/grad school years for the rest of their lives. And from now on they won't have to explain to people that they attended George MASON, not Georgetown or George Washington universities.

Cite as:

Mills Kelly, Object #11, George Mason University Digital Memory Bank, 30 March 2006, <http://hoops.gmu.edu/detail_story.php?id=11>

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