[Opinion]: Root for your Commonwealth friends in UVA

Written by Fourth Estate contributor Martin Phillips, a Mason alumnus. 

NCAA tournament selections have been made and, yes, sadly Mason is no where to be found this year.  It was a tough season, which most want to forget, and fortunately for us at Mason, basketball is finished with.  It’s done.  How can we still enjoy March Madness, though?  Our team, yet again, will not be there.  No worries, there are plenty of teams to root and ways to enjoy this tournament.  First, the Atlantic 10, the conference we just joined, got six teams in the tournament.   That is many as the ACC!  Hear that Coach K…calm down or you’ll get a technical foul again! I guess we  chose the right conference to play in. Our conference colleagues  need support.  I got Massachusetts over Duke in the third round!

There is also another interesting prospect entering into this tournament, from our own home state, University of Virginia.  They are a No. 1 seed.  I understand not everyone attending George Mason is from the state or even the country, but even if you are, they represent our home state.  You have to show them love! No one is showing them any respect.  That is an insult to our state, we never get respect, people up north still view Virginia as if it was Civil War times. UVA’s success can bring the respect we deserve. There are many states where one college represents the entire place, like UConn with Connecticut.  Virginia does not really have that.  We are almost five-times larger than Connecticut also, but UVA can help all of us come together as a state. Sic Semper Tyrannous, remember that! UVA needs our support.  They already took down one tyrant in Duke, but there are a lot more where they came from.  George Mason and University of Virginia have some connections .  Mason was originally found as a branch of UVA in 1957.  We were University of Virginia.  They’re family!  University of Virginia was found by Virginian and third president Thomas Jefferson, who also wrote the Declaration of Independence. One document that influenced the declaration was the Virginia Declaration of Rights written by George Mason.  We are connected more than you realize.  I am not saying you should put them done for winning the whole thing (at least the Elite Eight), but show your home state some love.  It is our roots.  Virginia is going to put us on the map.  I know another Virginia team is in the tourney, VCU, but, c’mon, they’re our rivals! We’re not Tech, so we can say, UVA all the way!
Everyone following college basketball and filling out brackets knows about the billion dollar challenge.  Whoever constructs a flawless bracket can win a billion dollars from Warren Buffet.  Here at the Fourth Estate we would like to do a fun challenge like that, but we are no in the right position to offer a billion dollar prize or million or even thousand something dollar.  The newspaper cannot offer much. That’s is why, I, Martin Phillips offers anyone with a semi-perfect bracket can win: my mattress.  There is no room at my parent’s house, so I have to get rid of it by the end of May anyway, so this is a perfect opportunity.  It is a twin bed with one weird stain, the guy I bought it from said he was eating soup on it.  I will also throw in the box spring.  A semi-perfect bracket means if you have a majority of the first and second round correct, you win!  If you do good in the sweet sixteen, I’ll throw in some bed sheets. Good in the elite 8, I’ll throw in pillows.  Final four and championship game, I’ll help tie it to your car.  Plenty of people in this country do not have a bed to sleep on, you can get one for free for just doing average on college basketball brackets.  If you are off campus next year, you will need to find a bad, why not be able to say you won it?! Email me, mphill14@gmu.edu, by Saturday March 22nd, and you could win!  The Mason-Martin Mattress Basketball Bracket Challenge.