BC falls to Duke and what lies ahead


Before the ball was tipped, I think we all were at peace with the fact that Boston College was not going to go into Cameron Indoor Stadium and beat Duke. I know I was, anyway. Nevertheless, just like last time BC was there, they hung in there for most of the first half and then completely collapsed, allowing the Blue Devils to win by 16.

It wasn’t necessarily for lack of being aggressive; it was certainly more of the Eagles not protecting the ball (Duke picked their pockets on more than one occasion, and were in good position to intercept their bad passes), shooting poorly, and playing poor defense. You have no shot at beating the #3 team at their place playing like that, so the result was understandable. Further, I think we should also hope that Reggie Jackson’s ineffectiveness was due to temporary illness and nothing else.

The Eagles can absorb this loss. Indeed, there’s not much shame in losing to a Top 5 team on the road, even though BC didn’t look particularly good in doing it. As of today, their RPI and SOS remain high despite having seven losses, several of which were brutal. In the coming days, STG will introduce a new résumé tracker page, updated daily, so that you may follow the progress of the Eagles and their opponents. The next two games that will be filled in on that resume are absolutely crucial: North Carolina and Virginia Tech (both at home).

I am going to say it right now: those two games could potentially be the season for the Eagles. Both teams are considered to be decent and have chances to make the NCAA Tournament themselves, and BC hosts them in succession next week. To win one or both of these games – preferably both – would add some more legitimacy to the Eagles’ résumé and boost their already high RPI and SOS to even more highly-respectable levels. To lose both games would quite simply be disastrous for BC, as they would fall to 14-9 (4-5) and their credibility as a Tournament team would appear shot, never mind the fact that they would be in complete collapse. UNC and Virginia Tech are precisely the kind of middle and upper-echelon teams that BC needs to beat in this conference, and they have an opportunity to do this now (but the Eagles are quite simply going to have to play better than they have lately).

Forget about the Duke loss (and the FSU loss for that matter) and pay very close attention to these next two games. They’re at home, the teams are more beatable, and the season is on the line. Most BC fans probably expected those previous two losses, but now it’s gut-check time. More to follow on these critical games next week.