Rivals? You Betcha
Sometimes a rivalry is created when two teams play every year in important games producing memorable contests (see Mason vs. Old Dominion and Mason vs. VCU). Sometimes a rivalry comes about when two teams play frequently in a short time span in games that become historic (see Mason vs. Wichita State). Other times, rivalries are born when two teams are close together geographically and demographically yet rarely meet. That would be the case for Mason and George Washington.
The Patriots and Colonials have played 11 times but just once this century and just thrice in the past 20 years. Nonetheless, it’s clear that this is a rivalry game for both teams.
Last year, the George Washington Athletics Department dubbed the game “The Battle of the Orange Line.” Even though Mason isn’t actually on the Orange Line, the moniker stuck. This year, a video was put together featuring the mascots of both teams.
Last year, Mason played at GW without a pair of starters and they saw the Colonials use an 18-2 run at the start of the second half to go ahead by 24 points in a game they eventually won by 17. Things turned for Mason after that as the Patriots went 12-3 in their next 15 games playing their best basketball of the season. This year, Mason, which has won two straight while holding the opposition to an average of 53 points in those games, will hope that the meeting with GW will come during their best basketball of the season.