At a minimum, the 2012-13 Boston College Eagles men’s basketball team will play 32 games, with a guaranteed 31 in the regular season. A full analysis of that schedule comes on Wednesday, but for today, a look at the ten most interesting matchups of those 31 games.
10. at Penn State
November 28, 2012
The Eagles and Penn State were both young, inexperienced, and frankly, not very good teams last year. This will be the sophomore Eagles’ first true road game of the year, and unless the Nittany Lions have gotten markedly better in the offseason, this will be a winnable game for both teams. With conference pride on the line again, it should be intriguing to see how BC responds.
9. vs. Providence
December 22, 2012
If the Mayans were right, this game’s not getting played, but if they were wrong, BC has an interesting matchup here. The Providence game on the road in 2011-12 was probably the first last year where the Eagles demonstrated they could hang with a major conference opponent. Though they lost, BC played well. It’s listed here because this is the sort of game you’d think that an improving Eagles team has to turn into a win if they’re going to get themselves on track.
8. vs. Harvard
December 4, 2012
One of these years, BC is going to beat Harvard again. Will it be in 2012? It would be a good start for this team.
7. vs. Dayton or Colorado (neutral site)
November 16, 2012
Both of those teams were decent to good last season, so as much as the first game the Eagles will play in Charleston is important, this one could be just as helpful in gauging where BC stands right now. They will face a much tougher second opponent in this early-season tournament than they did last year. Then, they skated by UC-Riverside in overtime. Can they beat a respectable team now? BC’s non-conference schedule is light on meat, so this could be one of the more important OOC games they play.
6. at Virginia Tech
January 9, 2013
Here is BC’s first ACC road game of the season. The Eagles started off 2-0 in the conference, but they did their winning at home. The Hokies are regrouping after losing some key players, and were picked near the basement themselves. Boston College lost a heartbreaker in Blacksburg last year in a game they absolutely should have won. Now it’s time to see if BC can actually finish off games like that.
5. at Florida State
February 16, 2013
The opponent who handed BC their signature win happened to be the ACC Tournament champions. Boston College beat the Seminoles last year on their home court, but now they must try to do the same in Tallahassee. Depending on where the Eagles stand at this late point in the season, the “interesting factor” could be higher or significantly lower.
4. vs. North Carolina State
January 5, 2013
What a way to open your ACC schedule: at home against the now-#6 team in the country, and the team picked to win the conference this year. No gimmes here, that’s for sure.
3. vs. North Carolina
January 29, 2013
It’s always fun when North Carolina comes to visit — except when BC gets destroyed, which has certainly happened in recent years. The 2011-12 Eagles were unable to hang with the Heels for more than 10 minutes of game time, but if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best.
2. vs. Duke
February 10, 2013
Speaking of, getting Duke back at the Heights will actually sell the place out again. The Eagles couldn’t keep up with the Blue Devils last season, either, but this will be one of several chances they will get this season to show what kind of team they are and what kind of team they intend to be.
1. vs. Baylor (neutral site)
November 15, 2012
The second game of the season is the most interesting right now, and why not? They’re playing a ranked team in an important non-conference matchup, though it could be a Brady Heslip-inspired BC bash-a-thon from the announcers. BC will be thrown into the fire right away, which is what makes this so intriguing. You aren’t going to learn a ton about your team playing Florida International (unless you lose badly), but you will playing a very good team like Baylor.