This is not meant to come across as ACC snobbery, but the reality is most of the teams in that conference play an up-tempo style and games in the 70s and 80s are expected.
Which is why when I cover a game in the 40s —- like last night’s George Mason-Drexel tussle —- it catches my attention.
Did a little digging last night to come up with a reasonably long list of Patriots victories under coach Jim Larranaga that came with a limited number of points.
Eventually, 56 points became the logical cutoff, and there have been eight such games in Larranaga’s 12 seasons in Fairfax.
Six, though, have come in the last three years, which is sort of curious. It’s uncertain what the explanation for that would be, but there have been two of them a year now since Mason went to the Final Four —- and both of this year’s came against a rugged, plucky Drexel team no one in their right mind should want to face in a tournament setting.
A full rundown:
35: George Mason 35, UNC Wilmington 33 (3-5-01, CAA final)
49: @George Mason 49, Drexel 48 (2-18-09)
53: George Mason 53, UNC Wilmington 41 (3-9-08, CAA semifinal)
55: @George Mason 55, Hartford 54 (12-23-03)
55: George Mason 55, @Hampton 46 (11-21-06)
55: @George Mason 55, UNC Wilmington 34 (1-8-07)
56: @George Mason 56, Cleveland State 47 (11-13-07)
56: George Mason 56, @Drexel 55 (12-6-08)
—- Patrick Stevens