Holy Cow, George Mason's in the Final Four!:

I generally completely ignore "March Madness," and have no interest in college basketball. But we here in the Bernstein household (GMU professor, GMU graduate school alum, and baby) are very excited by George Mason's success. If nothing else, we are going to be a lot less likely to hear "where?" when we say we teach at/graduated from George Mason. Relatedly, while some mediocre law schools clearly benefit from being affiliated with renowned universities (I won't mention any names here), GMU Law School has long suffered from being affiliated with (what is unfairly known as) "that commuter school in Fairfax." So go Patriots!

Average Joe (mail):
I was wondering when someone would post on the GMU victory.

Congratulations Patriots fans!

Of course, my bracket for the pool at work is completely screwed up, as only one of my picks for the Final Four is correct (it is UCLA, which I picked to lose to Duke in the Semi-Finals. Ouch!). On the other hand, no Number One Seed made the Final Four this year, so I expect that everyone's bracket is screwed up. It should be an interesting Final Four Tournament in Indianapolis. I'll be rooting for GMU.
3.26.2006 8:07pm
Justin (mail):
My bracket is particularly effed up. Good stuff for me, picking Duke beating Ohio State (with Illinois and Memphis) as my final four.
3.26.2006 8:13pm
Kovarsky (mail):
Yeah, I had Duke, Kansas, Gonzaga, and UConn. Unbelievable.

Here's rooting for an LSU-GMU final, comin' atcha.

By the way, I'm watching this 60 minutes thing on Tiger Woods, and apparently that thing where he dribbles the golfball on his club and then slaps it into eternity is NOT a computer simulation. He just did it.
3.26.2006 8:22pm
dweeb2 (mail):
If it's good for Bernstein, it's good for America.
3.26.2006 8:48pm
Bob Loblaw (www):
This is also not a computer simulation:
3.26.2006 9:31pm
DNL (mail):

(^ UConn fan.)
3.26.2006 9:35pm
My bracket, too, is in bad shape. Of course, not knowing anything about college basketball these days, I picked my bracket based entirely on geographical proximity. (Whichever school is closer to the game site wins.)

Had I picked GMU to even get to the Sweet Sixteen (in DC), I would totally have picked them to make the Final Four. Sadly, I had them losing in the first round to Michigan State (at Dayton).

My predicted Final Four was Duke, UCLA(!), Ohio State, and... Albany.
3.26.2006 9:40pm
Kovarsky: How did you pick both Kansas and Gonzaga, who played in the same regional?
3.26.2006 9:44pm
Hei Lun Chan (mail) (www):
3.26.2006 9:47pm
Adam K:
As a GMUSoL alum, I can pretend to have cared about GMU basketball months ago and not be considered a bandwagoneer, right? I understand alumni status to be a complete safe harbor.
3.26.2006 10:16pm
The post raises a different interesting question--how many law schools are out there that are significantly more prestigious within legal circles than their associated universities? NYU (fairly prestigious undergrad, but nowhere near the relative prestige of the law school) and GMU are two of the big ones...
3.26.2006 10:48pm
At least three other people got all final four teams correct. (Look for a score of 320 in the "RFin" column.)
3.26.2006 10:50pm
GMUSL 2L (mail):
NYU 1L -- BU immediately jumps to mind.
3.26.2006 10:56pm
dweeb2 (mail):

I think the key group is probably NYU, GW, BU, GMU, and BC.

Bernstein suggests another group -- mediocre law schools with great universities. What schools does he have in mind?
3.26.2006 11:17pm
I don't think Duke qualifies as a "mediocre" law school, but certainly it occupies a place of lesser prestige, relatively, than the university.
3.26.2006 11:55pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
It seems to me the ideal Volokh conspiracy championship game would be UCLA and George Mason.
3.27.2006 1:53am
Note that the Final Four will help GMU's academic reputation, thus helping the undergrad to catch up with the law school. TV sports appearances tend to increase your name recognition, which increases your number of applications, which lowers your % of applicants admitted and raises your average SAT's, which then improves your US News ranking. Which will improve your applicant pool even more in following years.

I went to Princeton, and Princeton's admissions were always more selective in the years when Princeton was in the NCAA tournament than in years when it didn't make it. It was a significant factor in helping Princeton take the #1 US News spot while I was there in the early '90s. I would not have previously guessed that Princeton was suffering from a lack of name recognition.
3.27.2006 9:06am

Relatedly, while some mediocre law schools clearly benefit from being affiliated with renowned universities (I won't mention any names here)

Name some names, bucko!
3.27.2006 11:50am
HLS, for one :^)
3.27.2006 12:57pm
Walt Quist (mail):
Here on the left coast, the lead story in the Ventura County Star sports section was titled "Eleventh Heaven". It was about the GMU victory over Connecticut. It appears GMU has really caught on around the country.
3.27.2006 1:33pm
Walt Quist (mail):
Let's just say that the schools with great sports teams don't necessarily have great academic teams. If schools want to improve their academic standing, they might wish to follow the University of Chicago, which ended its football program in 1939 and built a library where the stadium used to be (BTW, U-C has since reinstated its football program, albeit far smaller than it once was) ( (
3.27.2006 2:28pm
The Maroons notwithstanding, there are plenty of schools with both academic and athletic excellence--no need to throw the baby outwith the bathwater...

In any event, as someone who is kicking himself over not dropping a dub on GMU at 300-1 last week in Vegas, O just have to say ARGHH!
3.27.2006 2:48pm