George Mason University upset Alabama-Birmingham, 61-60, to win the championship of the UAB Classic tonight.
"It was our greatest victory ever," George Mason Coach Joe Harrington said about the victory over a team that had been in the top 20 until this week.
Carlos Yates scored 30 points and was named the tournament's most valuable player. The Patriots (4-4) played the last 1:49 without Yates, who was ejected for his involvement in a shoving match while going to the aid of teammate Rob Rose.
When Yates left, Mason led, 59-52. Alabama-Birmingham converted the two technical foul shots to cut the margin to 59-54. Rose made two free throws with 1:04 to play to put Mason in front, 61-54.
Steve Mitchell's jump shot from the top of the key with 51 seconds remaining made it 61-56. After Mason's Brian Miller missed the front end of a one-and-one, James Ponder made a 17-footer with 23 seconds remaining and the Patriots' lead was 61-58.
UAB stole the inbound pass and Mitchell made a jumper with 10 seconds remaining to make it 61-60. With six seconds left, Ricky Wilson missed the first shot of a one-and-one, but then blocked a last-second UAB shot.
The Patriots made 25 of 31 free throws, including 17 of 21 in the second half, as UAB (8-3) fouled in an attempt to gain possession.
George Mason advanced to the final by defeating Oklahoma City, 79-73, Friday.