CLEVELAND – Not that conference affiliation really means all that much, but it’s sort of fun to look at exactly how a program like George Mason has fared against the larger leagues it comes across in the NCAA tournament.
As for the Big Ten, home to the Patriots’ round of 32 opponent Ohio State? Mason is 3-13 against the current members of the conference and 3-11 in games against teams that were in the Big Ten at the time (two of Mason’s losses to Penn State came when the Nittany Lions were in the Atlantic 10).
One of the victories, of course, was in the 2006 NCAA tournament against Michigan State.
Mason also has a couple postseason losses to the Big Ten – to Indiana in the 1989 NCAA tournament, and at Penn State in the 2009 NIT.
Mason played three games against Ohio State during the Paul Westhead era, getting blown out twice in Columbus while suffering a five-point loss in Fairfax.
While the Patriots have never faced Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Purdue or Wisconsin, here’s the rundown for their series against the other six teams from the Big Ten:
3/20/89: L, 99-85 (N-NCAA/Tucson)
11/22/09: W, 79-66 (N-Puerto Rico Tip-Off)
12/1/84: L, 111-82 (A)
MICHIGAN STATE (1-2)
12/28/90: L, 97-72 (A)
12/8/04: L, 66-60 (N-BB&T Classic)
3/17/06: W, 75-65 (N-NCAA/Dayton)
1/14/84: W, 64-62
OHIO STATE (0-3)
1/8/95: L, 121-96 (A)
12/9/95: L, 92-87 (H)
12/14/96: L, 102-72 (A)
PENN STATE (0-6)
11/26/88: L, 58-54 (H)
12/5/89: L, 71-69 (A)
12/8/97: L, 85-46 (A)
11/28/98: L, 74-60 (H)
12/8/99: L, 67-54 (A)
3/17/09: L, 77-73 (A-NIT)