CHESTNUT HILL - I've arrived at Conte Forum a little bit early, partly because I like to get here early and also because the No. 24/25 Boston College women's basketball team is facing UNC-Wilmington in the first game of a double header.
Of course, the second game of the double header features Steve Donahue and the Eagles' mens basketball team facing the Bryant Bulldogs.
Boston College (8-2, 1-0 ACC) has been red-hot as of late, winning five games in a row and six of its last seven games dating back to Thanksgiving Day. Bryant (1-8, 0-1 Northeast), on the other hand, hasn't been as lucky. The Bulldogs are riding a six game losing streak and have lost seven of their last eight.
Bryant's only win of the season came against Iona when the Bulldogs posted a 74-72 victory. Needless to say, but I'll say it anyways, Bryant's mens basketball program is struggling ever since it made the jump to Division I in 2008.
The Bulldogs do have a significant tie to Chestnut Hills, however, as Bryant head coach Tim O'Shea was an assistant coach at Boston College in 1985-86 and again from 1997 through 2001. O'Shea played college basketball in Chestnut Hill as well from 1980 to 1984.
Here's a more in-depth look at the rebuilding of the Bryant basketball team on Boston.com: Bulldog Mentality.
In their inaugural Division I campaign, Bryant finished a dismal 1-29. They say it's pretty hard to win every game in a season, which is absolutely true, but I've always thought that its hard to lose almost every game in a season. It's apparently not, and Bryant made it look easy in 2009-10. Take a look for yourself: Bryant 2009-10 Schedule.
The Bulldogs of 2009-10 lost a remarkable 26 games in a row before finally notching their first and only win of the season, a 53-51 win over Wagner on Thursday, February 18th. That winning streak was short-lived, though, as Bryant finished the season off with three straight losses.
Again, these are certainly tough times for Bryant's mens basketball team. That being said, anything can happen in the world of sports. Do I think Bryant will defeat Boston College today? Absolutely not (Prediction: Boston College 95, Bryant 68). However, stranger things have happened, and while it is unlikely, it is absolutely possible.
Both teams are going in opposite directions (that's an understatement), so the outcome should be a predictable one here at Conte Forum on this wonderful Sunday afternoon.