2007. Colonials fans will remember this as the last time that George Washington won the Atlantic 10 Tournament. But there’s another little statistic that has an interesting parallel to this current season: 2007 was the last time that GW ended the regular season with a 5-game winning streak. To be fair, this was a long time ago, and it’s been just as long since the Colonials have even made an appearance in the A-10 finals, let alone actually win the title. So what would it take for George Washington to make a run to the finals this year?
1. Shake Off Recent A-10 Tournament Struggles
The Atlantic 10 Tournament has never exactly been a place of great success for George Washington. Despite being a founding member of the conference 1976, the Colonials did not capture their first A-10 Tournament title until 2005. Even during the 2006 season, when GW was ranked #6 in the nation, the Colonials failed to make it past their opening game in the Quarterfinals. The Colonials have not won the A-10 Tournament since 2007, and have not even advanced to the Semifinals since 2014. If GW is going to have any success this year in Pittsburgh, they must leave behind the ghosts of their past.
2. Continue Hot Three-Point Shooting
To say that GW lives and dies by the three may be an understatement, which is ironic, because the Colonials has traditionally never been a great outside shooting team. As a team, there have been 11 games this season where George Washington has hit at last 10 three. Of those 11 games, the Colonials have only lost two. Over the course of GW’s five-game winning streak, they’ve averaged 11.0 made threes per game.
3. Recapture the Magic of 2007
Back in 2007, Karl Hobbs was still the head coach of the Colonials. In addition, Xavier, Temple and Charlotte were all still members of the Atlantic 10. The A-10 Tournament was held at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ, where Maureece Rice was Tournament MVP. I think you get the picture…
The Colonials earned a 3-seed in that tournament, and needed to run the table in order to make the NCAA Tournament: there was zero chance at an at-large bid. George Washington defeated Saint Joseph’s, Saint Louis and Rhode Island en route to just their second-ever A-10 Tournament Championship. I remember being a seven-year old kid screaming with excitement (who got to stay up past his bedtime!) watching on TV (a rarity in those days) as the GW fans stormed the court in Boardwalk Hall.
Now to be fair, I’m not saying I’m predicting the Colonials to make an improbable run to the NCAA Tournament. But what I am saying, and what I’ve been saying all season, is that this year’s field is wide open, and GW is getting hot at the right time. They might need a miracle for it all to fall into place, but that folks, is what March is all about.