Jim Larranaga and the George Mason Patriots
have their non-conference schedule set for the upcoming season, and should all go well, Mason will prime themselves for a another run next March.
It tips off on November 13 when the Liberty Flames visit the Patriot Center for the season-opener. Two days later, Dartmouth comes to Fairfax for the second game of the year. Mason fell in overtime to Liberty on the road last season, but the Flames will be without Seth Curry, brother of Stephen, because he transferred to Duke during the off-season.
One week before Thanksgiving, the Patriots head for warmer weather when they play in the 2009 Puerto Rico Tip-off in San Juan. Mason joins the Dayton Flyers, Kansas State Wildcats, Villanova Wildcats, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Indiana Hoosiers, Boston Terriers and the Ole Miss Rebels in this year's in-season tournament.
One day after Black Friday, Mason plays their home-and-home game at Tulane. Mason defeated the Green Wave 60-52 last season in Fairfax.
Mason opens up December with a road game in the nation's capital with George Washington University. The Colonials will give Mason a return game in the 2010-11 season in Fairfax. GW is coached by Karl Hobbs, father of George Mason women's basketball player, Rashauna Hobbs.
The Patriots return home December 8 when they host the Dayton Flyers at the Pat Center. Last season, Mason fell at the Univ. of Dayton Arena 66-62 and defeated the Flyers the year before 67-56 after sinking all 22 free throws, a school record.
The Creighton Bluejays return to Fairfax for the second time in five seasons as the return game from last year's ESPN Bracketbuster. Mason played Creighton three times in the last four years, losing in each game.
On Dec. 22, an offensive explosion hits Fairfax, when the VMI Keydets face the Patriots. Expect a triple-digit performance from Mason in this one.
The Patriots close out 2009 with a Dec. 30 battle at Radford. Mason defeated the Highlanders in each of their last three meetings, dating back to 2007.
The non-conference schedule finishes in February when Mason will host another non-BCS school in the annual Bracketbuster game, broadcast on the ESPN Family of networks.