For a while there, it looked as though the Boston College Eagles’ men’s team was set to disappoint in Atlantic Coast Conference play this season. Yet, just the same as in the non-conference portion of the season, the Eagles appear to be bouncing back at the very end.
Now, this raises several different questions: (1) What constitutes “disappointment” and (2) How we can say that BC is “bouncing back.” On the first, Boston College was, until about two weeks ago, on track for only a few ACC victories, possibly not even improving upon their total from last season. It was their wont to lose close, competitive games at home and get systematically dismantled by those same teams on the road. The feeling was one of deflation and the phrase “moral victory” entered the collective consciousness of the fans.
The Eagles are bouncing back in that they have accomplished several things lately:
• Three wins out of their last five games
• Consecutive wins for the first time since late December
• Three home wins in a row; four out of last five
Not all of these wins have been against the mediocre bottom half of the ACC, either. Two of those victories, Maryland and Virginia, came against above-average teams contending for an NCAA Tournament bid. If either one is denied on Selection Sunday, their losses at Conte Forum may play a role in that. Yesterday’s victory over Clemson also just happened to be BC’s first at that venue; the Tigers are sub-par, but if nothing else, the Eagles snapped their road losing streak.
Their season finale is on Saturday afternoon against Georgia Tech, another team in the ACC’s bottom half. It is a game in which BC will probably be favored to win; Boston College has been playing relatively well at home all year with an 11-6 record at Conte Forum, and the Yellow Jackets have only two true road wins all season. If it happens, they’ll ride a three-game win streak into a place where being hot actually counts for something: the ACC Tournament.
Whether you want to blame the quality of opposition, trap games, the soothing calm of Conte Forum lulling opponents to sleep, or actually give the team some credit, it is fair to say that BC is making a late recovery to try and salvage some wins out of this 2012-13 season. Given that they have not played all that well away from their home court, it would not be a guarantee that the Eagles would advance in Greensboro, but if they are fortunate enough to beat the Jackets and play in the 8/9 game, they will have already beaten any of their potential 1st-round opponents earlier this year. Nobody else in the bottom of the conference is carrying any momentum, but BC might. This could make them a tough out in the first round, and perhaps in the second if they’re lucky enough to get there. All of this would help the Eagles finish the season on a high note and take some good feelings into next year.
Losing on Saturday would be a disappointing setback, but right now, there’s more reason to believe that the Eagles will win and that they will ride the building wave into the ACC Tournament. Who knew that we’d go from thinking a month ago that BC was floundering and not improving to a team that few would want to play in March.