In last night’s first round play of the NCAA Tournament, CAA champion George Mason University fell to Notre Dame University 68-50 in Denver, Colo. Mason’s Will Thomas scored 25 points in the losing effort. Playing in the National Invitational Tournament, fourth-seeded Virginia Commonwealth University was narrowly upset by fifth-seeded University of Alabama at Birmingham, while Old Dominion University defeated Rider in the opening round of the inaugural College Basketball Invitational. In Richmond, VCU looked to rebound from its CAA semifinal loss to the Tribe, but fell behind early due to erratic first half shooting. However, the Rams rallied behind 20 second-half points from guard Eric Maynor, before falling 80-77. Two hours to the east, ODU played a similarly tight affair, holding off Ryder University 68-65. The Monarchs advance to play the University of Virginia in the CBI’s second round.