Before the Tip-Off Marahon double-feature finale, the true college basketball fanatics already had a winner.
If you happen to follow George Washington basketball, you know that the story of 2014-15 is of what could have been. The Colonials began the season 16-4, including wins against Wichita State and Colorado. But the wheels came off in February and George Washington was not invited to the dance.
Fans in the nation’s capital looked forward to its internationally decorated roster getting a boost from, of all places, Syracuse. Wake Forest transfer and Western New York native Tyler Cavanaugh delivered toughness to help gain a huge early season win against 6th-ranked Virginia. Cavanaugh finished with 18 points.
Paul Jorgensen also came in the clutch, especially in the first half. As point guard Joe McDonald gave up three first half turnovers (to be fair, Cavanaugh had 3 early as well), Jorgensen compensated with 8 points and solid play at point.
McDonald redeemed himself knocking down two threes moments apart.
Kevin Larsen also looked like a point guard from the post position, finishing with 5 assists to go with 7 rebounds and 9 points.
George Washington won 73-68 and, at times, it didn’t look that close.
Patricio Garino, pardon the cliche, let the game come to him. The Argentinian had four points in the first half while focusing on defending guys like Anthony Gill. Garino then finished with 18 points.
The producers behind the all-GW-basketball podcast, Hail to the Buff, sums it up best. The handle tells collegebasketballeyetest.com on Twitter that the key to win was simply “interior passing and composure.”
There were some impressive wins, some bubble-on-bubble-crime wins, some wins that reaffirmed authority from some of the national powers, but this win by George Washington was the most advantageous win. It’s an “upset” for now, but it puts George Washington in the drivers seat to keep on the gas petal from last year’s success.
Enjoy this one, George Washington. Perhaps we’ll see your patriots in late March.