Mary Tribe 68-59 to win the Colonial Athletic Association tournament Monday night.
The victory earned George Mason and coach Jim Larranaga a return to the tournament that made them America's favorite underdogs two years ago.
In that NCAA tournament run, the Patriots stunned Michigan State, North Carolina, Wichita State and Connecticut in succession - an improbable advance to the Final Four that ended in a 73-58 loss to eventual champion Florida.
The Tribe (17-16) was on the same kind of run in the CAA tournament until meeting up with the Patriots and their smothering defense.
Mary had three heroes to thank for its first appearance in the conference title game in 23 years. But the Patriots never gave them the chance.
Mary 35-28 and shot 49 percent. The Patriots' biggest lead was 14, and they went 14-for-16 at the line in the final 3:05.
Laimis Kisielius, whose basket with 3 seconds left knocked out top-seeded Virginia Commonwealth on Sunday, scored 22 points for William and Mary and made eight of 16 shots, but the rest of the team was a combined 11-for-34 and missed 14 of 19 3-pointers.
MAAC
Siena 74, Rider 53
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Tay Fisher matched his career high with six 3-pointers in scoring 21 points for top-seeded Siena, which earned the school's fourth berth in the NCAA tournament.
It was the sixth straight win for Siena (22-10), which last went to the NCAA tournament in 2002. Rider (23-10), the second seed and seeking its first tournament appearance since 1994, likely is headed to the NIT.
Kenny Hasbrouck had 17 points, Edwin Ubiles added 15, and Alex Franklin 10 for the Saints.
MAAC player of the year Jason Thompson led Rider with 22 points and 12 rebounds.
It was the second meeting in the MAAC title game between the teams. Siena won 101-73 in Buffalo in 1999, the first of its three league championships.
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