Boston College Basketball: On Syracuse and Immoral Non-Victories


Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

When the phrase “moral victory” starts getting thrown around in the midst of a bad season, you know the jig is just about up.

Thing is, it seems doubtful that most dedicated Boston College fans today believe that last night’s defeat to the Syracuse Orange was a moral victory. A loss is a loss.

The Eagles, after surprisingly giving the Orange a scare for about 35 minutes of game play, eventually folded to Syracuse’s superior talent and lost, 69-59. It was surprising in that this, the best team Boston College has faced this year, should have been a blowout, and yet, it shouldn’t have been. It shouldn’t have been a blowout based upon the expectations we had for the Eagles pre-season. Yet, it should have been in that as the team withered away throughout non-conference play, so did our good tidings towards this group and the coach, Steve Donahue.

Last night, Boston College played more to its potential by finally looking like the bunch of hot jump shooters that we were promised they were years ago. To this point in 2013-14, we have only seen flashes of it. When the rest of your game is suspect, however, “flashes” ain’t gonna cut it. As a matter of fact, “flashes” are all we’ve gotten since 2011.

The optimism after the Virginia Tech game was admirable. People were legitimately happy that this Boston College team won a game, and after a season of virtually nothing but losing, they wanted to believe that they could re-ignite this Syracuse rivalry by shocking the world. Who can argue with that? Unfortunately, one win over a bottom-tier ACC team did not save the season. In fact, the loss to Syracuse does not change Boston College’s bottom line, as they’re 5-12, anyway. This team still has too many problems which were again evident last night, not the least of which is a difficulty at closing games, which we have only seen for about three years now.

If one is to derive any hope from the Syracuse game, it should be stored for future seasons. Maybe, just maybe, near-future editions of the Eagles will be able to make this rivalry as fun as it should be, complete with Boston College victories at home. If this so-called “moral victory” gives one hope for this season, one might say in response “hope for what?” At this point, the Eagles are 5-12 and would basically have to win out in ACC play just to make the bubble. It’s been over for some time.

When not getting run out of the gym by a very good team is the highlight of your season to date, you know there’s a problem. That’s not news, as the Eagles are going full-speed-ahead to their third-straight losing season. Perhaps someday, Boston College basketball will win games like this again, and not in the moral sense.