No team embodies the spirit of the Giant Killers philosophy better than the 2006 George Mason Patriots, who rose from 11th-seed obscurity to make it to the Final Four. Back then, GMU met nine of the 10 criteria we set out in the earliest iteration of this project (which uses historical data and current statistics to determine which mid-majors have the best chance of pulling off tourney upsets against the big boys), and despite receiving what was a rather controversial at-large bid at the time, the Patriots went on to shock the college hoops universe.
Our model has advanced quite a bit since then (check out our methodology, for free, here), and every year at this time we delve into the stats to find "this year's George Mason."
With that pursuit in mind, could it be that 2011's George Mason is ... George Mason?
To read Jordan Brenner's full take on the tournament potential of the 2011 George Mason Patriots, including an analysis of how they stack up against GMU's 2006 squad, you must be an ESPN Insider. Sign up today and get access to Giant Killers and all of Insider's NCAA coverage before and throughout the tournament.