Monday, March 27, 2006

George Mason U and the Tourney Effect

A freshman girl at GMU in this story didn't know they had a team, you can bet she'll be the last freshman of her kind.

This is going to catapult this team into the spotlight, not just in the basketball world but as an educational institution as well. I know, the same thing happened at Boston College when I was there in 2000.

The basketball team was a joke, no one really paid attention, deciding instead to focus on the mighty hockey team. Then the team was suddenly 12-0 or something like that and some people started showing up. We beat a couple of good teams and got some press. Suddenly, more people started showing up. But it wasn't until we got into the tourney that things changed. The next season we were somebodies and Troy Bell was a household name.

Then the football team started making bowl games. The women's basketball team got good. Even the Soccer team got in on it, going to the final four.

It took a couple of years and a whole lot of free exposure (mostly during these nationally-televised sporting events), but it made BC a household name. A name to be reckoned with, a place people wanted to go to.

As juniors and seniors, we hears stories of younger brothers and sisters with superlative scores and applications that just couldn't get in. BC got so selective they had to turn away people who were better qualified than their existing students.

Now BC is more than just a name. It carries significant weight. I'm happily reaping the benefits of this development. Whenever I tell people I went to BC they raise their eyebrows and kind of nod quietly, the way I do when someone says they went to Stanford or Harvard or Kellogg Business School.

Little do they know, I got in just before the Tourney effect. That freshman girl may not have known about the team, but she'll be thanking them for years.


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