On Sunday, January 4, 2009, just over five years ago, the Boston College Eagles basketball team went to Chapel Hill, North Carolina to face the #1 North Carolina Tar Heels.
At that point, the Eagles were 12-2, though without a truly convincing win. Yet, led by Tyrese Rice with 25 points, Rakim Sanders with 22, and Reggie Jackson with 17, the Eagles claimed an 85-78 win over the eventual national champions.
Imagine that: our starters were decent enough that we had Reggie Jackson, an NBA draft pick, coming off the bench.
Following that victory, Boston College cracked the AP poll at #17 in the nation. Of course, they would go on to lose their very next game to Harvard, starting what has ballooned to a six-game losing streak against the Crimson.
To this day, five years on, the Eagles have not been ranked since.
The lack of success in this Boston College program since that 2009 win at the Dean Dome has been staggering. The Eagles would go on to beat Duke later that season at home, and would qualify for the NCAA Tournament, but that was also the Eagles’ last trip to the Big Dance to date. There, they were upset by the USC Trojans in the first round.
Since then, Al Skinner was fired after a second bad season in three years, replaced by Steve Donahue. The latter had an NIT-qualifying first year with Skinner’s team, but his own players have failed miserably. If it goes the way we all expect, there will be three-straight basketball losing seasons, including this one, and the 2013-14 campaign could conceivably result in the most losses in program history.
Given that this North Carolina team is highly prone to playing up or down to their level of competition, can the Eagles recapture some of their old magic at the Dean Dome this afternoon?
The problem is, this Boston College team is also highly prone to something: playing like crap. Furthermore, one can count on a single hand the number of true road games this junior class has won in the last three years (hint: because there have been just four). A win here, as in most of the games the rest of the way, seems unlikely for the 5-12 Eagles.