(The Spread) – While it wasn’t a huge upset (or much of an upset at all, in fact), George Mason’s win over Villanova made for instant water cooler banter.

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Down for almost the entire game, George Mason went on an 8-0 run in the second half to take a 56-54 lead with under a minute remaining. Villanova then went up by 1 after Corey Fisher converted all three of his foul shots with 31.7 seconds remaining. But the Patriots’ Luke Hancock hit a trey with 21 seconds left on the clock and George Mason held off the Wildcats for a 61-57 victory.

George Mason opened as a 1.5-point favorite according to oddsmakers from online sports book Sportsbook.com. But the line moved all the way to Villanova –2 by tip off, making the Patriots’ victory a small upset. (That said, public betting information shows that 52% of public bettors still favored George Mason.)

Despite the win, things don’t get easier from here for the Patriots. They advanced to the Round of 32 for the first time since 2006, which was the same year they made the Final Four. But with Ohio State cursing to a win over Texas-San Antonio, the Buckeyes await George Mason in the second round.

History isn’t on the Patriots’ side either. Of the 46% of eighth seeds that advance to the second round, only 9% advance to the third. On the flip side, 100% of top seeds have advanced to the second round of the tournament and 88% advance to the third. Thus, George Mason may want to savor its wild victory over ‘Nova.

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