Friday, January 22, 2010

MBB Game 20: Boston College at Virginia Tech, plus some hockey

I will start with tonight's game, which has BC hosting BU at Conte Forum.  These teams won't meet again until (possibly) the Beanpot, and we all remember the last time these teams hooked up.  The whole Fenway thing was a nice touch, but the game left a ton to be desired.  BC is still 12-6-2, in 2nd place in Hockey East, and ranked #10 in the country.  The game will be on NESN at 7:30.  They will follow up this effort with another game on Saturday at UMass-Lowell.

Now tomorrow's basketball game is a Raycom game, which means that everyone like me who is outside of the viewing area will have to watch ESPN360.  We will learn if BC's comeback in Miami was a fluke, or if they've actually pulled their heads out of their asses.  Even if they play well and lose, this game will tell us a lot of what we need to know.

The Miami game on Tuesday night was one of their best wins of the season, mainly because of their big rally.  They're riding a little bit of momentum and now they have to show up down in Blacksburg, in what will no doubt be a tough game.

The ACC is awful this year and there's really no getting around that; the league's parity has kept BC alive.  No, still not for an at-large bid, as I've said a hundred times that that ship has sailed.  We're talking now about positioning in the ACC Tournament.  With their win over Miami, BC went from 12th in the conference to 8th.  They are now sitting at 9th, but they are only one game behind being in the mix for a first-round bye.  There is so little separating a lot of these teams that 9-7 might even get you a bye with the right tiebreakers.

This is part of the reason why the start to this season has been so distressing.  If BC could have turned some of these losses into wins (like, for example, not getting plowed at Conte Forum against Maryland last week), they would be legitimate contenders in this conference.  No one is going to run away with it, it would seem.  Even so, with a record of 2-3, a few more wins would put them right there.

Still, I have to see it to believe it.  BC has already had a number of wake-up calls this year, and they haven't seemed to respond to any of them.  Their opponents, Virginia Tech, are 1-2 and hungry for a win (the only ACC team they've beaten was -- no surprise -- Miami).  They, in their most recent game, held NCCU to a pathetic 30 points, which is indicative of nothing since it was NCCU.  In any case, if BC shoots poorly, they're probably going to lose, and that's pretty much the end of it.

BC needs this one in the worst way if they want to try to charge up the conference standings.

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