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The Colonial’s NCAA Quest Reviewed

A historic season came to a painful close last Friday night as Memphis knocked GW out of the NCAA tournament in round 2. And although the loss was heartbreaking, GW did not back down without a fight, coming within 2 points off a layup from sophomore Patricio Garino with 2:39 left to play at PNC Arena. A team that was never expected to finish at the top of it’s conference was selected to play in the tournament for the first time in seven years, and despite the outcome, the Colonials made us proud.


My roommate and I were lucky enough to be chosen as two to win tickets to the game in Raleigh. We dragged ourselves out of bed at 7 am, hit the deli, and made our way to one of the four fan buses. I was donning a GW crewneck and a tee shirt that read ‘Battle Mode’, and she was sporting a George Washington University bandeau (yes, those exist). Needless to say, we were ready to raise high and raise hell. The Colonials made huge strides this season, with multiple playmakers that we were excited to see in action. Coach Mike Lonergan had a goal at the beginning of the season, and that was to make GW basketball matter again. By adding some seasoned and talented guys to the melting pot that created the team, he was able to put GW back on the map.

Maurice Creek and Isaiah Armwood both played at powerhouse schools, Indiana and Villanova respectively, hoping to realize their college basketball dreams. Creek faced multiple injuries and surgeries, which forced the Hoosiers coach to replace him. Creek decided to take advantage of his 5th year of eligibility and play his final season at George Washington. Armwood never got the play time he wanted at Nova and found that he could be more productive at GW. These two both had played in NCAA games before, and they had the talent and the experience to make it there again. GW finished 3rd in the A-10, secured their tournament spot, and headed to Raleigh, North Carolina to compete against Memphis.

My roommate and I filed off the bus when we arrived at the team hotel for a cocktail hour and pregame party. After two hours of mingling with alumni and fellow fans (and charging our phones in the hotel lobby) we were piling back on the bus to head to PNC Arena. When we arrived, we grabbed some hot dogs (an obvious highlight) and took our seats in the upper part of the student section. To be honest, the game itself was not exactly a nail biter until the very end. Memphis was constantly ahead between 6 and 10 points. Close enough to keep it interesting, yet just out of our reach. Creek unfortunately was not putting up the numbers he typically would, and Armwood and sophomore Kevin Larsen, the A-10’s most improved player, scored a majority of the points. Needless to say, the Colonial Army was still boasting with spirit, eagerly awaiting a comeback.

When we finally came within two points of a tie game, the stadium came alive. I grasped onto my roommates arm, barely able to contain my nerves. I closed my eyes, and the tables turned yet again. GW didn’t score, and Memphis was able to put the game away, shutting GW out of the tournament with a final score of 71-66. With this win, Memphis not only eliminated GW, but the final three perfect brackets that existed in Warren Buffet’s billion dollar challenge. If GW doesn’t come out on top, no one can apparently.


We sulked out of the arena, grabbing ice cream on the way out to lift our spirits. Despite GW’s loss, I’ll always remember being able to attend this game. The colonials went out with a fight, and have a lot to be proud of. 

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