The Washington Times - June 24, 2009, 06:04PM

The first college basketball games of the season are still nearly five long months away.

Yeah, it’s no fun to think of it like that.


But it’s never too early to start thinking about what sort of memorable games will land in the area (and just how to cram as many of them into a single person’s itinerary as possible).

And so here to begin the process of figuring that out … George Mason’s nonconference schedule, filled with dates (but no times) for (mostly) late in 2009:

Nov. 13: Liberty
Nov. 15: Dartmouth
Nov. 19-20, 22: Puerto Rico Tip-Off (with Boston U., Dayton, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Kansas State, Mississippi and Villanova)
Nov. 28: at Tulane

Dec. 2: at George Washington
Dec. 8: Dayton
Dec. 12: Creighton
Dec. 22: VMI
Dec. 30: at Radford

Feb. 20: Bracketbuster (at home)

So that’s good. Really, really good.

Just from a home schedule perspective, there’s a couple solid Big South schools (Liberty and VMI), plus two excellent programs in Dayton and Creighton. Plus there’s the Bracketbuster game, which always has the chance to be a late-season treat.

Also good: The local visit to George Washington, a BB&T Classic-esque game four days early.

It would seem like a good bet that the CAA opener will be that first weekend of December, and obviously the balance of the conference schedule will be played post-New Year’s. And while the dates aren’t established, Mason does know what is coming out of the CAA scheduling deck this year:


Georgia State
James Madison
Old Dominion
UNC Wilmington


Virginia Commonwealth
William & Mary



Overall, that looks solid —- and certainly means there’s a decent chance there will be reason to make a handful of trips across the Legion Bridge this winter to look in on the Patriots.

—- Patrick Stevens