Why George Mason is a dangerous team 

March, 2, 2011

I like that the CAA tournament is this weekend, before the majors start hogging the spotlight. It means, for one weekend at least, the hottest team in the country is going to play the most meaningful basketball in the country. And we all have to pay attention.

There's no disputing that the George Mason Patriots -- owners of a 15-game win streak, Ryan Pearson's wicked, scraggly, patchy beard and, as of this week, a Top 25 ranking -- are swelling with pride. The Patriots are not only likely locks for the NCAA tourney (potentially a No. 7 seed if they win the CAA), but they have been killing it against the spread. In this week's Sweat Barometer, which I work up with Sal Selvaggio from madduxsports.com, George Mason is No. 2 in the country, with an SB number of 4.21 against an average spread of minus-7.04 (that means it is beating the spread by an average of 4.21 points per game). The Patriots also have an amazing 21-7 record ATS -- that, my degenerate friends, is a gaudy, sick, crazy number.

Go to vegasinsider.com and look at the against the spread records there. I scanned the list while I was on the train into the city this morning: There wasn't another school that had topped the 20-win mark. The next closest was Indiana State with 18 wins and then Pepperdine and UW-Green Bay with 17 each.