A friend of mine just made the Final Four. James Johnson was an assistant coach at Penn State for the last two years but took a job with George Mason this year. There were a bunch of people who questioned why he would leave a B10 school to go to the Colonial Athletic Conference but his decision is looking like a stroke of genius now (for more on his decision, read this story from the Harrisburg Patriot.
Here’s a shot of him leaving the court on Friday after their win over Wichita State that got them to the Elite Eight.
This afternoon they knocked off UConn in overtime to advance to the Final Four. In addition to the Wichita win, GM also knocked off traditional major conference power houses Michigan State, North Carolina, and UConn. What’s even more amazing is that George Mason was a controversial at large pick for the NCAA tournament to begin with. They lost in their conference tournament to Hofstra and thus didn’t earn an automatic bid. Several people felt that because Hofstra defeated George Mason twice in the last two weeks of the season, Hofstra deserved a bid instead. Now just two weeks after learning they were in the tournament, the Patriots will be headed to the Final Four.
Since everyone’s bracket is probable all messed up with the upsets, this will give you someone to root for when the Final Four starts next weekend.
BTW – As you might be able to tell from the photo, JJ dresses well. So well, in fact, that while he was at PSU, he was named as one of the NCAA best dressed assistant coaches.