Boston College fans all know the story: experienced team graduates, new freshman team comes in, team gets pantsed by UMass three games into the season. Some expected ACC wins and some did not, but what few thought possible this year was a win over a ranked team. BC basketball accomplished it on Wednesday night against the #15 Florida State Seminoles, who are in first place in the conference by virtue of their wins over UNC and Duke.
These are the facts:
• FSU was Boston College’s first win over a ranked team since January 26, 2010, when the Eagles beat (Coaches Poll) #21 Clemson at Conte Forum.
• The Eagles scored 64 points, which is the most they’ve scored since their double-overtime loss to Rhode Island on January 2.
• Jordan Daniels had a career-high 21 points.
The Eagles played well and deserved to win the game, but how much does it really mean going forward?
It could mean quite a bit. Of course, there will be no postseason play for this team, and BC fans probably won’t remember this season fondly in the future, but their Florida State win could be a confidence-booster that helps set them up for greater things down the road. Many media analysts believed that the Eagles were a lock for last place in the conference and would struggle to win five games; of course, winning more than one ACC game was out of the question because of BC’s inexperience and perceived lack of talent.
Boston College has won three, and there are at least one or two more on the schedule where the Eagles will have a legitimate shot. If some still considered BC in the running for “worst ACC team of all-time,” which they shouldn’t have following ACC win #2, they absolutely must drop it now. “Worst-ever” teams don’t beat ranked teams, so we can put that to bed once and for all. Folks must realize that while the Eagles are raw and inexperienced, they are a well-coached basketball team that has shown extended stretches of being competitive in this league.
While they’ve won three ACC games, Boston College was close in several others. Virginia and Miami both got away from BC in the final minutes, but the Eagles were competitive in both most of the way, while they were in the Georgia Tech and second NC State games all the way to the end. The Eagles had been coming close but not punching through, but on Wednesday night, they did just that. The result was a happy team that went into the student section high-fiving Superfans, looking the most fired-up they’ve been all year long.
This game will absolutely be looked upon as a confidence-builder. BC will have more setbacks as the season draws nearer to a close, because that’s what young teams do, but they not only know that they can beat ACC teams, they can beat some of the best teams in the nation. At the end of November, Eagles fans probably would not have believed it if they heard it, but that’s just how much better this team has gotten between the start of the season and now. Of course, there is still a long way to go in terms of developing the young Eagles into seasoned college basketball players, but this Florida State upset was not an accident. We saw what BC is capable of doing with solid, 40-minute effort, and as they become more experienced, they will have the confidence that they can hang with and beat these kinds of teams and that they can blossom into the team they think they can be over the next few years.