March 8, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Santa Clara Broncos forward John McArthur (25) shoots against the Loyola Marymount Lions during the first half in the quarterfinals of the West Coast Conference tournament at Orleans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

CBI Finals Preview: Santa Clara vs. George Mason

When the common college basketball fan thinks of George Mason, they think of a team that personified the Cinderella story; A Mid-Major that was able to defy all the odds, and make it to the final four. Although the Patriots had a fabulous run in 2006, they are completely different in 2013. They are leaving the Colonial League to join the Atlantic 10, and the Patriots have made appearances in two NCAA tournaments since their historical final four appearance in 2006. The Patriots have also never had a losing season since 2006. Santa Clara will have it’s hands full with George Mason, who has turned into a staple for mid-major college basketball.

Santa Clara

AP Poll: Unranked

RPI: 97

BPI: 86

KenPom: 78

Points Per Game: 73.6 (41st in the nation)

Rebounds Per Game: 34.9 (166th in the nation)

Assists Per Game: 14.9 (42nd in the nation)

Field Goal %: 43.8% (145th in the nation)

Leading Scorer: Kevin Foster (17.9 ppg)

Leading Rebounder: Marc Trasolini (7.8rpg)

Leading Passer: Evan Roquemore (5.3apg)

George Mason

AP Poll: Unranked

RPI: 159

BPI: 133

KenPom: 137

Points Per Game: 66.8 (194th in the nation)

Rebounds Per Game: 34.3 (180th in the nation)

Assists Per Game: 12.3 (207th in the nation)

Field Goal %: 43.7% (148th in the nation)

Leading Scorer: Sherrod Wright (16.7 ppg)

Leading Rebounder: Erik Copes (5.5 rpg)

Leading Passer: Byron Allen (3.9 apg)

 

The George Mason is a team that doesn’t light up the scoreboard, but when given the opportunity they can score with anyone. Against Houston, the Patriots won 88-84 against the Cougars. However, against Western Michigan, they beat the Broncos 62-52. George Mason can play at different speeds, which is extremely helpful, especially in a three game series.

However, the Patriots will have a great deal of trouble stopping Santa Clara guard Kevin Foster. During the CBI, Foster has been playing like the dynamic scorer he has been all season. He has averaged 30 points per game, and hit 50.8% of his shots, during the tournament. Foster’s stellar play has been a huge factor in the Broncos CBI success.

Prediction: Santa Clara wins in 3 games.

Assuming the Broncos can win at least one game on the road, Santa Clara will take the series. Kevin Foster has been playing great basketball, and the Broncos are getting great production from players such as Brandon Clark and Raymond Cowels III.

 

 

Tags: Basketball Featurd George Mason Patriots Santa Clara Broncos

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