BC Interruption's Brian Favat previews the Boston College men's basketball season, predicting the outcome of all 32 games and foreseeing an NIT bid.
While not much is expected of Boston College men's basketball under first-year coach Steve Donahue, there is still a bit of excitement surrounding the program heading into the season. Superfans want to see what Donahue brings to this program, particularly on offense, where Skinner's often-times boring Flex seemed to put fans to sleep.
Even though the Eagles aren't expected to be anywhere close to the ACC title, there is still enough returning talent (Joe Trapani, Reggie Jackson, Corey Raji, Josh Southern) to compete within the conference. Combine that with a new offensive and defensive philosophy, and I think the Eagles will surprise some people this year.
With the season set to tip-off Friday night, when the Eagles host the St. Francis (NY) Terriers, let's get right to the game-by-game season predictions.
St. Francis NY - Win
Yale - Win
Holy Cross - Win
I don't see the Eagles getting off to a slow start, taking care of St. Francis, Yale and Holy Cross -- all at home -- to push their record to 3-0.
vs. Texas A&M - Loss
vs. Manhattan - Win
vs. California - Win
The Eagles lose a closely contested battle against the Aggies in the first round of the Old Spice Classic in Orlando, but go on to beat both Manhattan and California in the losers bracket to finish a respectable 2-1 in the tournament.
Indiana - Win
vs. Massachusetts - Win
Providence - Win
BC rides their hot streak from their second and third games of the Old Spice Classic, rattling off three more wins in non-conference play. The Eagles defend their undefeated record in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge when they host the Hoosiers, and follow that up with wins over UMass (in the Boston Tip-Off Classic) and at home against Providence. Through December 8, the Eagles should stand at 8-1.
at Maryland - Loss
Donahue's Eagles put up a valiant effort in his first ACC game, but fall to the Terrapins at the Comcast Center.
Bryant - Win
Bucknell - Win
at Rhode Island - Loss
BC returns home to take care of Bryant and Bucknell, but loses on the road to the Rams of Rhode Island. Rhody defeated the Eagles at Conte Forum last year 80-69, a decisive loss that started the "Al Skinner Hot Seat" debate. URI should again be a tough out and the Eagles fall playing on the road.
at South Carolina - Loss
Harvard - Win
Next, the Eagles travel to South Carolina to take on the Gamecocks on New Years' Day. While the Eagles were able to take care of South Carolina last year, I think they fall on the road in a close game. Then the Eagles return home to wrap up their non-conference schedule against the Crimson and avenge the last two years' losses (care of Jeremy Lin).
Georgia Tech - Win
N.C. State - Win
at Miami - Loss
Virginia - Win
The Eagles continue ACC play with a two-game home stand against Georgia Tech and N.C. State. I think the Eagles will hold serve at home, beating both the Yellow Jackets and Wolfpack. However, a road trip to Miami has proved problematic for the Eagles in recent years, and this year is no exception. BC then returns home and takes care of a mediocre Cavaliers squad to move to 3-2 in the ACC.
at Florida State - Loss
at Duke - Loss
North Carolina - Loss
Virginia Tech - Loss
at Clemson - Loss
The Eagles then go on the road to kick off a brutal five-game stretch against the projected five best teams in the ACC this year. The Eagles lose to both the Seminoles and Blue Devils on the road, but return home to put a scare into both North Carolina and Virginia Tech. BC then travels to Littlejohn and falls to the Tigers. It wouldn't surprise me if BC pulls out one of these two wins at home, but I think the Eagles finish this stretch a winless 0-5.
Maryland - Win
at North Carolina - Loss
Miami - Win
For the Terrapins return visit to Chestnut Hill, the Eagles exact revenge, handing a Top 25 ranked Terrapins squad just their fifth or sixth loss of the season. BC then plays UNC tough on the road, but falls to the Tar Heels, but returns to Conte Forum to draw even with the Hurricanes.
at Virginia - Win
at Virginia Tech - Loss
Wake Forest - Win
BC wraps up the regular season winning two of their final three games at Virginia and at home against Wake Forest. The Hokies along with the Tar Heels will be the only two ACC squads to beat BC twice in the regular season.
With a regular season record of 18-12 (7-9 ACC), the Eagles get an eight seed in the ACC Tournament. They defeat Miami in the first round of the Tournament, but fall to Duke in their quarterfinal matchup. With a record of 19-13, the Eagles get a decent seed in this year's NIT, and we will all claim Steve Donahue's first season on the Heights as a success.