There is never too much shame in losing to the conference leader in a road game, the Florida State Seminoles, who currently hold the conference lead in the Atlantic Coast Conference at 5-1 (15-5 overall) by virtue of their home court win over defending national champion Duke. Especially a conference leader who had allowed only three opponents in the entire season to eclipse the 70 point mark and none to reach 75.
The Seminoles chances at a NCAA berth look very solid as of now. As obviously do the Blue Devils. But how about the BC Eagles? In the coaches’ poll they were picked to finish 10th under new coach Steve Donahue, the same man who led Cornell to two upsets and a spot in last years Sweet 16. As of now they stand at 4-2 in ACC play and 14-6 overall, in what most experts agree is a down year for the ACC.
There have been some odd losses in non-conference play; double digit home court defeats to Ivy League foes Yale and Harvard. While those teams may be decent in their conference, they should not be able to recruit the same talent as an ACC school can. Furthermore, BC has now lost to the Harvard Crimson for three straight seasons. They also fell on the road to Rhode Island, a middling Atlantic 10 team.
Their record against Big 6, or BCS, schools in non-conference play is good, at 5-1, the one loss coming on a neutral floor against Wisconsin. However, 4 of those wins came against a middle of a the pack SEC team in South Carolina, a rebuilding Big 10 team in Indiana, a .500 team in California, and a Providence team that was winless in the Big East until today.
What really stands out on the rough draft of BC’s tournament resume is their neutral site win against Texas A&M. That win keeps looking better and better for them. Other than the Eagles, the only other loss for the Aggies on the season was in Austin against the Longhorns, one of their archrivals. The Aggies will be a top 15 team when the next set of rankings come out, at 17-2 overall on the season.
As for the BC Eagles, the FSU loss began a four game stretch which could very well determine their postseason future. They go on the road to face Duke on Thursday before returning home to play underachieving but dangerous North Carolina and perennial bubble team Virginia Tech at the start of February. The outcome of those three games could well decide if BC winds up in the NCAA tournament or the NIT.
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Written by Christopher Ferrick-Manley